The Bitpanda transaction was the first purchase of an FCA-registered crypto firm. In October, the FCA approved Trustology’s registration in the United Kingdom.
The United Kingdom’s financial watchdog expressed concern about a Peter Thiel-backed cryptocurrency trading platform controlling a U.K.-licensed firm, stating that it has the authority to revoke the company’s registration if it determines that the company or its ownership are unsuitable.
On Tuesday, Bitpanda, a company based in Austria with a market capitalization of around $4 billion, announced the acquisition of Trustology Ltd., a company based in the United Kingdom. However, the Financial Conduct Authority, which granted the firm a license under its anti-money laundering rules in October, responded that if it discovers concerns about its ownership, it can suspend or cancel the registration.
“Both Bitpanda and Trustology are confident that no issues will arise as a result of the acquisition,” Bitpanda said in a statement. “We have a good working relationship with the FCA, which was informed of the transaction well in advance, and the FCA statement was consistent with Bitpanda’s expectations.”
According to Bitpanda, this is the first time an FCA-registered crypto asset firm has been purchased.
The regulator has issued numerous warnings about the risks associated with cryptocurrency, stating in 2021 that investors “should be prepared to lose all of their money.”
Meanwhile, it has taken a tough stance on new crypto asset firm registrations. It has until March 31 to sign off on dozens of firms with temporary permissions, with the companies potentially forced to stop trading without the full approvals.
Thiel’s Valar Ventures and billionaire financier Alan Howard are among the largest investors in Bitpanda, which is based in Vienna. The company provides retail trading in cryptocurrency, equity derivatives, and commodities.
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.