There is some big news at Wirex. We are more than proud to announce that we were granted a UK Financial Conduct Authority e-money licence on the 21st of August! Wirex Limited is only the third crypto-friendly company in the world to have been granted this licence. The FCA was formed to protect consumers, enhance market integrity and promote competition, and has strict requirements for companies looking to qualify for their licences. This e-money licence will boost trust in Wirex and cement our reputation as a global player.
How do you get a licence?
The FCA is an independent body, accountable to the UK Treasury. It regulates over 56,000 UK financial services and markets. The approval process for being granted an FCA licence is stringent – it can take up to 12 months for the FCA to determine whether or not to grant a licence. Since the global financial crash in 2008, there have been what the BBC describes as “significant changes to the regulatory system of the UK’s financial sector.” Regulation processes in general have become stricter and more rigorous. Unfortunately, cryptocurrency is all-too-often associated with criminal activity, Ponzi schemes and scammers. The less-than-honourable actions of certain ICOs (initial coin offerings) has tainted public perception of crypto-friendly companies. Wirex is not an ICO; it is backed by large, reputable financial institutions and investors. The FCA licence underscores the integrity, compliance and professionalism of Wirex and helps to bring cryptocurrencies into the mainstream. Wirex users can be confident that they are dealing with a company that meets the same regulatory standards as traditional payment platforms.
Here’s what Wirex had to do to get the FCA licence:
What does this mean for Wirex?
Wirex co-founder Dmitry Lazarichev believes that “the licence is a testament to the fact that the company is committed to pursuing and achieving the highest levels of diligence and integrity in its business operations. Wirex’s submission to the FCA’s jurisdiction should leave customers in no doubt that Wirex will provide them with a best-in-class platform and accompanying service”.
For customers, the Wirex app, wallets and cards will continue to function as normal. However, in the wider scheme, gaining the FCA licence will open up a much broader market, allowing us to create e-money accounts in over 25 different currencies. We’re in the process of developing offerings in Asia (including Singapore and Japan) and North America in order to deliver a comprehensive service to our global users, with access to our full array of industry-leading features.