Digital bonds can reduce the need for intermediaries and therefore lead to lower fixed costs provide better market transparency by increasing capacity to see trade flows and the identity of asset sellers and buyers and provide a much faster settlement speed. While there are still development milestones necessary to make these benefits apparent, the private sector has begun discussions on how to enter this space.
The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced a ban on the sale of crypto-derivatives and exchange traded notes (ETNs) that reference certain types of crypto-assets (crypto-ETNs) to retail consumers. Firms who carry out marketing, distribution or selling activities in or from the UK of the relevant products to retail clients, will need to comply with these rules by 6 January 2021.
Questions continue to arise over the interplay of the second Payment Services Directive with the General Data Protection Regulation. The European Data Protection Board has published draft guidelines.
On 3 September 2020, Andrew Bailey, the Governor of the Bank of England, delivered a speech to the Brookings Institution regarding innovation in payments, setting out his view that innovations need to be underpinned by an appropriate regulatory framework to be suitable for use on a wider scale. In his view, stablecoins have the potential to be suitable for widespread use, but must meet the standards of other regulated payments to maintain consumer protection and promote consumer confidence.
The UK’s JMLSG has published new sectoral guidance on how cryptoasset businesses should manage money laundering risk.
Over recent years, the financial services industry has come to be increasingly defined by, and reliant upon, new technologies and systems. Alongside the opportunities afforded by the increased use of technology, regulators are increasingly aware of the growing threat of disruption caused by technology outages and cyber-attacks.