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Cryptocurrency firm advised by Philip Hammond withdraws UK application | Cryptocurrencies

A cryptocurrency agency that employs the previous chancellor Philip Hammond as an adviser has withdrawn its software to function within the UK, after struggling to win approval from the monetary regulator.

The Guardian revealed earlier this yr that Copper Applied sciences, through which Hammond holds a 0.5% stake, was considering seeking registration in Switzerland somewhat than the UK.

The corporate had been given non permanent registration by the Monetary Conduct Authority (FCA), pending approval of the controls it had put in place to forestall cash laundering and terrorist financing.

Fintech firm Revolut, which had additionally been positioned on the FCA’s non permanent checklist, was awarded full registration for its UK crypto enterprise final month.

However Copper Applied sciences has revealed, in accounts filed at Corporations Home, that it had withdrawn its software and moved UK clients to Switzerland, after successful approval there.

Hammond, who was chancellor between July 2016 and July 2019, has been crucial of the UK for failing to arrange a complete regulatory framework governing cryptocurrencies.

Earlier this yr he mentioned it was “frankly fairly stunning” that Britain was lagging behind different international locations.

The FCA’s regime for digital property presently covers cash laundering and terrorist financing however not particular features of cryptocurrency buying and selling and investing.

Hammond, recruited by Copper Technologies as a “senior adviser” in 2021, has “progress shares” that have been considered price as much as $15m (£13m), based mostly on reviews by Bloomberg that the corporate was looking for a valuation of $3bn in a fundraising train.

The accounts present that Copper Applied sciences has raised $196m to this point however the final success of the fundraising – and thus the valuation – may very well be affected by a broad global sell-off of digital assets over the previous yr.

Within the meantime, losses at Copper, which supplies digital foreign money infrastructure to different companies, have elevated from £3.6m to £14.3m, accounts present.

A spokesperson for the corporate mentioned: “Copper maintains open and energetic dialogue with regulators throughout the jurisdictions the place we’re working, together with in fact with the FCA. Since gaining our membership to [Swiss body] VQF in Might, we’re happy to have the ability to supply purchasers providers from Switzerland.”

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