Partner Mark Hastings Comments on cryptocurrency fraud and regulation

September 16, 2022

Partner Mark Hastings comments in Law360 on the regulatory landscape of cryptocurrency and digital asset fraud.

Mark’s comments were published in Law360, 16 September 2022, and can be read here

Mark Hastings

“The AML registration regime appears to be encouraging firms to set up abroad due to the very high bar that has been set for firms looking to register with the FCA, as evidenced by the regulator’s relationship with Binance over the past year. Not only is this undesirable from a consumer protection perspective, since the UK regulator has no ability to take action against offshore providers, it may significantly limit the government’s plans for the UK to become a global cryptocurrency hub.”

“Increased government regulation of cryptocurrency that covers unbacked coins such as Bitcoin, rather than just stablecoins, would be a welcome change. At the moment, it is difficult for individual investors (unless they are well resourced) to pursue fraud claims in the High Court, especially given that fraud claims are often costly, seldom straightforward and sometimes require obtaining freezing injunctions against persons unknown. More comprehensive regulation would bring greater transparency, allowing for greater institutional investment that will in turn help to stabilise prices and prevent significant and rapid price drops of the kind we saw with Terra Luna.”