In chart 8 we see Bitcoin owners were more likely to identify the correct definition of cryptocurrency than consumers who own only non-Bitcoin cryptocurrencies (96% vs 81%); they also showed greater willingness to buy cryptocurrency in the future. A longer version of the questionnaire was shown to an additional boost sample of 994 individuals, all of whom were current or previous crypto users. This boost guaranteed that the longer questionnaire was put to a large enough sample of current or previous owners of cryptocurrencies to enable reporting. It showed that 3.9% of the population owned cryptocurrencies at that time, with 75% of consumers holding under £1,000.

Cryptocurrencies are virtual or digital currencies that can be traded or used to buy goods and services, although not many shops accept them yet and some countries have banned them altogether. The University of Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) studies cryptocurrencies. As of August 2021, it estimates that Bitcoin’s total energy consumption could be between 31 and 327 terawatts a year (TWh), with a central estimate of about 87 TWh. People can buy and sell cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, but they can also get hold of them through a process known as mining. Each transaction made is represented by a block which is added to the larger chain, hence the name blockchain, and all the transactions remain in the blockchain forever.

Analysis: The increasing scope of UK cryptocurrency regulation

The participants (nodes) who solve the computational puzzle receive some Bitcoin as a reward for contributing their computing power to the Bitcoin network. Enhance or build your brokerage business from scratch with our advanced and flexible trading platform, CRM, and a wide range of custom solutions. In line with the Trust Project guidelines, the educational content on this website is offered in good faith and for general information purposes only. BeInCrypto prioritizes providing high-quality information, taking the time to research and create informative content for readers.

Much of that expansion can be owed to the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Once any legislation is put to Parliament, it will be the job of the regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, to draw up the detailed rules the sector will have to follow. Jeremy Barnett, a barrister and honorary professor of algorithmic regulation, at University College London, said the UK had much to gain, as entrepreneurs were currently choosing to set up elsewhere. „Having a solid a regulatory framework, having enforcement capabilities, is really important for consumer confidence,” Mr Guthrie said. The so-called crypto winter has raised questions about whether the industry can ever be effectively regulated. Even when the crypto market was booming, in 2021, calls for regulation were loud.

But at the opposite end of the spectrum, 49% said they intend to hold for 5 years or more. The gap between what consumers have heard of against what they own is somewhat larger for Tether (the market-leading stablecoin) than Bitcoin (the market-leading cryptocurrency). This might indicate that Bitcoin remains a more attractive proposition to consumers and the use case of stablecoins has proven less persuasive to this point. 87% of crypto users said none of the cryptocurrencies they purchased were stablecoins. But those who could not correctly identify a cryptocurrency definition or who stated that their reason for buying was ‘as a gamble that could make or lose money’ were less likely to have been influenced by advertising than the benchmark for crypto users.

Stable coins in particular offer notable benefits for fast and cheap payments by simplifying payments and savings management for citizens. Despite a number of news stories focusing on the growing role of crypto during the coronavirus pandemic, the majority (86%) of respondents say that it has not changed their attitude to cryptocurrencies. When looking at effects among crypto users only, coronavirus was more likely to have encouraged respondents to buy cryptocurrencies than to have discouraged (12% vs. 3%). 57% of crypto users said they have never sold any of their cryptocurrency, while 5% said they have tried but were unable to. However, 22% of crypto users reported having a bad experience relating to owning or acquiring cryptocurrency.

Check if the exchange platform you are considering purchasing your cryptocurrency from is on the Financial Services Register or the list of firms with temporary registration. Even the cryptocurrency exchange platforms that have registered with the FCA are not covered by the FSCS. As the government continues to develop a „broader regulatory approach” to cryptocurrencies, we walk you through if – and to what extent – cryptocurrencies are regulated in the UK. They can scan customers on Sanctions and PEP lists from more than two hundred countries. In this way, with Sanction Scanner, crypto businesses can comply with regulations and be protected from regulatory penalties. In 2018, the government had already set up a task force to explore the impact of cryptocurrencies’ rapid developments.

Already set up a joint crypto asset task force in 2018 that consisted of senior representatives from top U.K. Regulators, including the Bank of England, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Treasury. Crypto regulations would likely focus on stablecoins, something the government has been consulting on since the Treasury’s March 2020 budget prioritized the issue.

One of the most important tools available is a cryptocurrency trading demo account. Offered by many websites, simulator accounts are an excellent place to practice trading in a risk-free environment. Investors can practice the basics and get a view on how successful cryptocurrency trading strategies may be with a virtual bankroll. Once investors have finished in the training arena, they can open a live account and start trading with real money. For more information on UK taxes on cryptocurrency trading and investing, see HMRC’s guidance. As the name suggests, a day trading cryptocurrency strategy refers to the buying and selling of crypto, such as Litecoin, in the same trading day.

Behind this, we can see a strong sense of confidence among crypto users and 48% (up 9pp) agree that they know at some stage, they will make money out of the cryptocurrency market. Only 36% of crypto users were able to correctly identify the definition of stablecoins (compared to 90% for the definition of cryptocurrency). Indeed, when asked why they hadn’t bought any stablecoin, 45% of crypto users referred to a lack of knowledge about them, and 15% a lack of knowledge on how to buy them.

Crypto regulation: the current state in the UK

These conditions include limits as to the types of transaction that can qualify for the IME. A list of qualifying transactions is set out in the investment transactions list (ITL). In May 2022, HMRC published a consultation to consider adding transactions in cryptoassets to the ITL.[xxi]  The consultation also considers whether this change should extend to those fund tax regimes that use the ITL to define the transactions.

While they can take many forms, and tokens can have very different properties, the most well known take the form of unregulated, transferable tokens, including Bitcoin, Ether and Ripple. As they are largely unregulated, we do not hold significant, relevant data about them. In the UK, we have the Faster Payments Scheme, so there is not as much of an advantage in terms of speed or cost to using cryptoassets to transfer value.

In 2022, there were two important developments relating to the marketing of cryptoassets in the UK. In January, HMT published its consultation response,[xv] setting out new rules that would bring cryptoassets within the scope of the financial promotion regime. As such, investing in cryptocurrency should only be considered by experienced investors who understand the regulation and who are comfortable with the fact that they may get less back than they put in. The FCA opined that cryptoassets would only fall within the regulatory perimeter if they bestowed rights akin to the ‘specified investments’ already set out in the Regulated Activities Order (e.g. shares or debt instruments). The UK’s HMRC was among the first countries to introduce rules on cryptocurrency trading taxes. They are also among the most active tax agencies when it comes to collecting any revenue due from investing & trading in cryptocurrencies.

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