Seven of Britain’s top cryptocurrency firms on Tuesday linked up to create CryptoUK, a trade body that will oversee the controversial sector, amid ongoing jitters over volatile Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. In a statement, the association said: “The UK’s leading cryptocurrency companies have joined together to launch a self-regulatory trade body—CryptoUK—to improve industry standards and engage policymakers on the future of the sector.”
The body’s seven founding members are BlockEx, CEX.IO, Coinbase, CoinShares, CommerceBlock, CryptoCompare and eToro. The group said the new body did not include Initial Coin Offerings, or ICOs, which see investors buying digital tokens in startups, often with no guarantees for their investment.
The CEO of Coinbase UK, Zeeshan Feroz, stated that the “fundamental” goal of CryptoUK is to “engage as a single industry with the government,” adding that “Regulation is imminent and that’s a good thing.”
CryptoUK has issued a code of conduct outlining the principles by which its members are expected to adhere. The code of conduct emphasises the need for members to operate with transparency and in full adherence to UK regulatory requirements, in addition to making practical propositions with regards to the management of customer funds.
The body has stated that it seeks to “raise understanding of the sector at a time of significant growth in popularity,” emphasising the need for pressure to be placed on government “to introduce appropriate regulation to protect consumers and business certainty, [while] allowing the sector to flourish in the UK.”
The Crypto UK chairman and managing director of Etoro, Iqbal Gandham, described the trade body’s mission as “promot[ing] best practice and to work with government and regulators,” emphasising his hope that the group can develop “the blueprint for what a future regulatory framework will look like.”
Further, Mr Gandham described the cryptocurrency industry as being “severely misunderstood” by mainstream institutions. “That’s why Crypto UK has been established, to promote best practice and to work with government and regulators to ensure that the UK benefits from the exciting potential of this international technology,” he added.
Bitcoin and other digital currencies have experienced volatile swings in demand in recent weeks, accompanied by a rise in questionable investment scams that has prompted increased attention by the world’s global financial regulators. CryptoUK is the first association of its kind in Britain, and its members comprise trading platforms, exchanges, comparison websites, intermediaries, merchants and asset managers.