Is cryptocurrency legal in UK?
The United Kingdom’s approach to cryptocurrency regulations has been measured but has matured in the post-Brexit financial landscape. Although the UK confirmed in 2020 that crypto assets are property, it has no specific cryptocurrency laws and cryptocurrencies are not considered legal tender.
According to the Bank of England, since cryptocurrencies lack classical definitional characteristics, they are not considered ‘money’ and do not pose a systemic risk to the stability of the banking ecosystem. However, because the legal consequences, regulations, and status of crypto assets and currencies can change depending on their nature, type, and usage, the FCA and the Bank of England have issued a range of warnings and guidance about their use. Those warnings concern the absence of regulatory and monetary protection, the status of cryptocurrencies as stores of value, and on the dangers of speculative trading and volatility. Exchanges have registration requirements in the UK. Although it left the EU in 2020, the UK previously transposed the cryptocurrency regulation requirements set out in 5AMLD and 6AMLD into domestic law. From 10 January 2021, all UK crypto asset firms (including recognized cryptocurrency exchanges, advisers, investment managers, and professionals) that have a presence or market product in the UK, or that provide services to UK resident clients, must register with the financial conduct authority (FCA). Critically, these groups must comply with AML/CFT reporting and customer protection obligations. FCA guidance stresses that entities engaging in activities involving crypto assets must also comply with those regulations came into force in January 2020 and incorporate the latest FATF guidelines.
After leaving the EU in 2020, it is likely that the UK’s cryptocurrency regulations will remain largely consistent with the bloc in the short term, implementing directives equivalent to the EU’s Markets in Crypto-assets (MiCA) and E-Money proposals, along with various Payment directives.
In the future, however, it is likely that the UK will diverge from the EU’s crypto-regulatory landscape to some degree. Currently, there is no specific UK crypto legislation on the horizon but HM Treasury guidance, issued via the UK Crypto Asset Task Force in January 2021, emphasized the UK’s intention to consult on bringing certain cryptocurrencies under the scope of ‘financial promotions regulation’ and to continue to consider a ‘broader regulatory approach’ to crypto assets. In particular, the report explored possibilities for the regulation – which are currently banned by the FCA. The call for regulatory flexibility was echoed in a subsequent report published by FCA in February 2021: the potential introduction of stablecoin regulation is a sign that the regulator’s attitude to cryptoassets may be changing.
It could also mean that you haven’t verified your identity or you’ve violated Coinbase’s User Agreement.
When your account is restricted, you’ll have full access to your wallets, but you won’t be able to buy or sell crypto.
If you’re unable to add a payment method, it means that your country does not support it.
In countries like Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore, you can only buy crypto using a debit/credit card.
However, you won’t be able to sell crypto as transferring funds back to a card is not supported.
That said, you can still send crypto from your Coinbase account to another wallet or exchange.
Funds in your local currency wallets can still be withdrawn to a bank account as well.