Ex-Finance Minister 'Could Lose Millions' as Crypto Firm Considers Move from U.K. to Switzerland
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Ex-Finance Minister 'Could Lose Millions' as Crypto Firm Considers Move from U.K. to Switzerland

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Created 7mo ago, last updated 7mo ago

Copper is one of five crypto firms that is yet to achieve full registration with the Financial Conduct Authority, and is reportedly planning to move its operations abroad.

Ex-Finance Minister 'Could Lose Millions' as Crypto Firm Considers Move from U.K. to Switzerland

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A crypto company that counts a former finance minister among its advisors is reportedly plotting a move to Switzerland — as hopes of achieving full regulatory approval in the U.K. begin to fade.

The Financial Conduct Authority had allowed companies that were seeking full registration as a cryptoasset service provider to be subject to a "temporary registration regime" — but this ended on March 31, 2022.

Copper is among five companies that remain on this temporary list even after the deadline passed — along with CEX.IO and Revolut. This could mean one of two things: they are attempting to finalize their application and arguing the FCA's decision, or in the process of winding down.

According to The Guardian newspaper, Copper has found it difficult to navigate "the threadbare regulatory regime for crypto" — and its lack of success in achieving full registration may mean that it fails to meet the City watchdog's anti-money laundering standards.

This could be particularly calamitous for Philip Hammond — a member of the House of Lords who served as Chancellor in the Conservative government from 2016 to 2019.

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U.K. Warms to Crypto

Lord Hammond has been vocal in his enthusiasm for digital assets, and has suggested that the U.K. should be an early mover in establishing a regulatory framework so the country can gain an economic advantage after Brexit.

And while his latest successor Rishi Sunak has unveiled plans to turn the U.K. into a "global cryptoasset hub," this may come too late for Copper, which is now said to be plotting a move to another jurisdiction. Hundreds of customers could end up being affected.

While Copper was valued at $3 billion as a result of a recent funding round, The Guardian suggested that its value could plummet if it heads to Switzerland, not least because the firm may struggle to attract funding from potential investors.

This would have ramifications for the "growth shares" that Lord Hammond holds — worth an estimated 0.5% of the company — meaning a nest egg of $15m could dwindle.

In a statement to The Guardian, Copper says that its talks with the FCA are continuing.

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