UK to launch Digital Securities Sandbox in Q1 2024

The United Kingdom will get its second crypto sandbox by Q1 2024. It will be explicitly focused on digital securities.

During her speech at the CCData Digital Asset Summit on Oct. 3, the head of capital markets at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Helen Boyd, revealed that His Majesty’s Treasury plans to launch a Digital Securities Sandbox at the end of Q1 2024. Though de-jure an independent financial regulator, the FCA falls under the purview of the U.K. Treasury.

According to Boyd, the upcoming Digital Securities Sandbox will differ from the already functioning Digital Sandbox, launched by the FCA in August 2023. The FCA’s Digital Sandbox aims to support tech firms in the early stages of product development, while the Treasury’s Digital Securities Sandbox will have “a new rule set that would allow it to do new things with digital securities.” As the official announcement of the Digital Securities Sandbox specifies, it will give the companies an opportunity:

“To set up financial market infrastructures that utilize digital asset technology, which can perform a number of activities in relation to digital securities under a temporarily modified legislative and regulatory framework.”

Boyd also elaborated on the FCA’s future as a principal regulator for crypto in the United Kingdom. She explained that the agency is still waiting for the Treasury’s decision on how much power should be granted to the FCA. 

Related: UK’s Travel Rule comes into effect, could halt certain crypto transfers

British regulators have been demonstrating stringency toward the digital assets industry recently, with the Treasury considering a blanket ban on crypto investment cold calls and the FCA issuing a final warning to local crypto businesses that don’t comply with its marketing rules.

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