Cryptocurrency

UK crackdown on crypto gathers pace

Bitcoin
Getty Images

The number of investigations into UK cryptocurrency businesses has surged over the past year as the regulator continues its crackdown on the controversial digital currencies.

According to new research, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) was conducting 87 investigations into the sector as of September, up from 50 a year earlier.

Proponents say cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin offer a cheaper, faster way to move money, but critics say the sector is prone to fraud and asset price volatility.

David Heffron of law firm Pinsent Masons, which carried out the research, said the statistics would be encouraging for crypto businesses acting lawfully.

"The FCA's crackdown on businesses operating on its regulatory perimeter will instil a degree of confidence that products reaching consumers are less likely to be scams."

Uganda warns people not to use cryptocurrencies

Russell Padmore

Business correspondent, BBC News

Bitcoin.com buttons are seen displayed on the floor of the Consensus 2018 blockchain technology conference in New York City, New York, U.S., May 16, 2018
Reuters
Bitcoin entered the market about 10 years ago

Uganda's ministry of finance and the central bank have urged consumers not to use cryptocurrencies, saying the government does not recognise them as legal tender.

Uganda has joined dozens of countries trying to deter people from buying things online with these digital currencies.

Central banks around the world have expressed concerns about the increasing use of currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, which are created by a complex mathematical digital formula.

Bitcoin in particular has fluctuated wildly in value.

The Ugandan government has warned people that most cryptocurrencies are not backed by assets or government guarantees, which can make them worthless.

The finance ministry has also warned cryptocurrency users in Uganda that they are not entitled to any consumer protection.

Finance Minister Matiya Kasaija says the government is examining its legal options to clamp down on digital currencies, which have been used by criminals for money laundering, or the sale of prohibited goods.

However, when managed carefully they can be useful as a means of trade over the internet.