The City regulator is calling in Bitcoin experts to train its staff following concerns that crypto is being used by money launderers and terrorists.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is spending £500,000 on consultants to access a blockchain analytics platform which will help its staff identify illegal activity.
A tender notice posted to the government’s website revealed that the financial watchdog “requires access to specialist services to support the analysis of crypto asset blockchain data.”
The services will be provided by a third-party firm which will provide training to FCA employees to help the regulator fulfil its duties as the supervisor of digital assets in the UK. The regulator is beefing up surveillance as part of its efforts to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing.
The FCA has issued a raft of warnings about crypto assets in recent months because of its links to financial crime and the speculative nature of investments.
The vast majority of crypto companies which provide services to customers in the UK are not licensed by the FCA.
In June the FCA posted a warning about the world’s largest crypto exchange by trade volume, Binance, on its website because it was operating without proper permissions.
Police forces across the UK have seized hundreds of millions of pounds worth of cryptocurrencies so far this year.