U.K. regulators are launching a review of initial coin offerings (ICOs) “to determine whether or not there is need for further regulatory action in this area beyond the consumer warning issued in September,” the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced Friday.
The pledge came in a discussion paper setting out the results of the FCA’s consultation on the development of distributed ledger technology (DLT), also known as blockchain technology, which underpins virtual currencies such as bitcoin.
Following its consultation, the FCA intends to “continue to monitor DLT-related market developments, and keep its rules and guidance under review in the light of those developments,” the U.K. regulator says in a statement.
The FCA also pledged to work with the industry, and various other government agencies, such as the U.K. Treasury and the Bank of England, “to ensure a co-ordinated approach towards DLT in the U.K.” At the international level, the FCA will work with other national and international regulators to shape standards in this area.
“DLT has the potential to transform practices across a number of markets, sharpening competition and improving risk management. At the same time we have to be alive to the risks of certain applications of it. We will continue to work with a range of agencies and firms to ensure a co-ordinated approach to the use of DLT in financial services,” says Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition, FCA, in a statement.