UK’s top crypto chief calls out City watchdog for curbing innovation

MPs are set to scrutinise the Treasury’s plans to make the UK the “global home of crypto” in a fresh inquiry into the wider crypto and digital assets sector, launched today.

The City watchdog has come under fire from the chief of Britain’s biggest cryptocurrency firm after he suggested that the UK is falling behind its EU cousins.

Peter Smith, the chief exec of, told The Telegraph that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) had taken a “risk-management first approach” that came “at the expense of innovation”.

Smith criticised the FCA for curbing progress in the space, after it imposed a number of crackdowns on crypto brokers, including strict money laundering laws and funding restrictions.

nstead, he praised regulators in Ireland and Germany for creating frameworks and licences that allow companies to operate more efficiently. is reportedly seeking to raise funds at a $20bn (£15bn) valuation, and its technology allows users to buy, sell and store cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

76 million users have opened wallets on, and the company said it has processed a trillion dollars’ worth of transactions – a third of all Bitcoin spending.

Despite Smith’s condemnation, crypto fraud accounted for losses of more than £146m ($200 million) in the UK last year, according to the City of London Police, and representing a 30 per cent hike from 2020.