UK watchdog mulls approving companies using blockchain

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is weighing approval for select companies in the United Kingdom that use the blockchain technology.

UK watchdog mulls approving companies using blockchainUK’s financial regulatory body told Financial Times that there is a number of groups that are engaged in the development of blockchain-based consumer-facing products, which are already in the preapproval stage.

Blockchain is the underlying technology that supports popular digital currency bitcoin. It makes use of cryptography to create a distributed ledger system to hold and spend money in a more open, transparent and flexible manner compared to the traditional bank or credit card companies.

“We do think [blockchain] has got some potentially interesting applications and we are talking to firms thinking about how to apply that to financial services and how it could benefit consumers or indeed make the business of compliance easier,” said Chris Woolard, the FCA’s director of strategy and competition, according to the news outlet. “There may be areas where we might want to encourage it a bit.”

Bitfinex offers company equity to reimburse losses

Customers of bitcoin exchange Bitfinex may soon have a way to recoup their losses following the hack that debilitated the company.

When Bitfinex lost some 119,756 bitcoins—worth more than $61 million at the time—to a security breach several weeks ago, it decided to “generalize losses across all accounts.” This means that all Bitfinex users, even those who weren’t affected by the hack, will see that a portion of their accounts will be replaced by the BFX token.

Now, it appears that Bitfinex has found a way for customers to convert the DFX assets. The Hong Kong-based company teamed up with UK investment platform BnkToTheFuture to enable the redemption of BFX tokens for equity in iFinex Inc.

“The next steps are to continue our discussions with BnkToTheFuture and work towards putting this plan in action,” Bitfinex community director Zane Tackett told CoinDesk.

Current bitcoin price and transaction volume

The price of bitcoin was up on Tuesday, trading at $584.99 with a market cap of $9.31 billion and trade volume of $19.46 million.