FCA publishes discussion paper on distributed ledger technology

The FCA has published a discussion paper on distributed ledger technology (DLT). The discussion paper describes DLT and acknowledges blockchain as a type of DLT.

The FCA invites a discussion on two sets of issues:

  • What new risks and opportunities does DLT present to the FCA’s statutory objectives of market integrity, consumer protection and competition? Can DLT support more effective competition, financial system integrity and deliver better consumer outcomes? How can regulated firms mitigate any risks?
  • Do any of DLT’s characteristics make it challenging to fit DLT solutions into the regulatory framework, despite the FCA’s approach of ‘technology neutrality’?

The FCA recognises the recent advancement of DLT and in the second half of 2017 into 2018 expects to see more movement from ‘proof of concept’ to ‘real-world’ deployments. The FCA is also working with overseas regulators and standard setting bodies on collaborative initiatives and reports relating to DLT.

FCA asks for comments by 17 July 2017.