'Global sandbox' could boost UK's fintech role and drive cryptocurrency regulation, trade group says

10 August 2018 7:28pm
A regulatory “global sandbox” being planned for financial technology firms could underpin international regulation for cryptocurrencies as well as helping the UK remain a fintech pioneer after Brexit, trade body Innovate Finance told MLex today.

The sandbox initiative is being led by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority in collaboration with 11 other financial regulators from around the world. The FCA announced the creation of the landmark Global Financial Innovation Network, or GFIN, earlier this week. The regulator had first floated the idea in February.

A number of countries have sandboxes — test environments that help fintech companies win acceptance with regulators for innovative services. GFIN aims to go further by allowing regulators globally to share information, collaborate on policy and conduct trials to support the work of standard-setting bodies. It may also support companies to navigate multi-jurisdictional regulatory issues through cross-border trials.

Innovate Finance's chief executive, Charlotte Crosswell, sees the scheme likely focusing on two key areas — giving fintech firms the impetus to scale up their businesses by taking products overseas, and potentially paving the way to a global regulatory standard for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings, or ICOs.