UK authorities have opened 24 investigations into cryptocurrency businesses over financial regulatory compliance, local media outlet CityWire reported May 25.
Responding to a freedom of information request, regulator the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) also confirmed it had opened seven whistleblower reports since the start of the year.
While the FCA did not mention which specific businesses were on its radar, a response to CityWire stated that the investigations were being made in order to “determine whether they might be carrying on regulated activities that require FCA authorisation.”
Addressing possible consequences of its own investigation, the FCA meanwhile appeared to hint it would take action according to the seriousness of any offending business, without mentioning which parameters it would use to judge activities.
According to the FCA’s response, the investigations’ priority is consumer protection:
“If we conclude that they are, then we may investigate and take action, identifying and determining the most serious matters which pose the greatest risk to consumers.”
The FCA’s investigations join regulatory steps currently underway in other major jurisdictions regarding crypto business compliance.
Earlier this week, a joint U.S.-Canada investigation dubbed ‘Operation Cryptosweep’ was opened, targeting potentially fraudulent industry investment programs. Investigators have so far unearthed around 35, a press release from the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) announced.
Across the globe in Singapore, the central bank issued warnings May 24 to eight local crypto exchanges that could potentially be breaking securities laws. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) also confirmed it had sent a demand to one ICO token issuer to halt its activities.