Head of UK FCA Department: Crypto market is now developing towards traditional finance

Therese Chambers, head of retail and regulatory investigations at the Financial Market Conduct Authority (FCA), delivered a speech entitled "The Development of Digital Assets and Dealing with Financial Crime Risks" at New York University Law School. She said that regulators like the FCA expected compliance with AML regulations to encounter "resistance" from the industry. Considering that the release of the Bitcoin white paper coincides with the global economic crisis of 2008, regulators can infer that cryptocurrencies are "not another attempt to create digital dollars or launch fintech applications, but a more radical thing." Institutions traditionally have the power to regulate identifiable intermediaries in the financial system, not the currency itself. Therefore, they rely on exactly the structure Bitcoin is trying to destroy, which seems to imply a zero-sum game between regulation and innovation. However, Chambers believes that, although the crypto asset market may have originated from the liberal will of the crypto punk movement, "the way the market has developed over the past 10 years now mimics several characteristics of traditional financial services." Digital self-sovereignty and de-intermediation are not a problem, as recent estimates show that 90% of economic activity occurs on centralized custody exchanges. The FCA's consumer survey found that most respondents see crypto assets as an alternative investment tool, more similar to traditional financial services.