Cryptocurrencies and UK FinTechs: Perspectives and Experiences of Financial Crime

The UK FinTech FinCrime Exchange (FFE) has just launched its latest white paper on FinTech perspectives and experiences on the nexus of cryptocurrencies and financial crime.

Cryptocurrencies experienced a meteoric rise in both value and popularity at the end of 2017.

While the value of popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin has declined, interest has remained. International governments have been slow to regulate the emerging market, and many in the traditional financial services sector and wider public have expressed concerns related to the ability of cryptocurrencies to facilitate financial crime.
This paper answers the following questions: how does the UK FinTech sector perceive the risks associated with cryptocurrencies, and how are they managing the challenges related to this new disruptive technology?

Our research suggests that while some UK FinTechs have considered engaging more with cryptocurrencies, perceived financial crime concerns, the need for meaningful AML/CTF controls and the lack of regulatory clarity have fostered an attitude of caution.

We found that perceptions of financial crime risk associated with cryptocurrencies differed from actual experiences of FFE members.   These perceptions had a disproportionate impact on how Fintechs chose to engage with cryptocurrencies, limiting their appetite for extending their exposure, and for some, that of their banking partners.

The paper recommends that FinTechs not be deterred by the challenges associated with cryptocurrencies, as financial crime concerns can be managed through tailored, risk-based anti-financial crime tools, and a solid understanding of any areas of concern through a detailed risk assessment process. Regulators as well as law enforcement actors should collaborate more with FinTechs in order to improve the broader understanding around cryptocurrencies, financial crime and new regulatory developments.

More detailed findings are presented in the white paper.

For more information on the FFE or on cryptocurrencies and financial crime, please contact the FFE Admin.