FCA seeks crypto forensics help amid AML registration backlog

FCA seeks crypto forensics help amid AML registration backlog

The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is looking to hire a third-party crypto forensics service provider by mid-December at the latest.

According to a tender offer published by the FCA on November 15, the contract is valued at £500,000 ($672,000) with a tenure of almost two years, ending on December 6, 2023.

“The FCA is seeking the services of a third-party firm specializing in this area who can provide access to a platform that can support the robust and efficient analysis of cryptoasset blockchain data and provide training and ongoing support in the use of this platform,” the tender offer stated.

As part of the contract scope, the FCA is looking for a system that offers robust blockchain data monitoring capabilities. The FCA also wants the system to allow easy integration with its internal regulatory functions.

According to the tender notice, the FCA deems the ability to monitor and analyze blockchain data as an essential regulatory tool. The document also linked the procurement drive to the regulator’s ongoing crypto business registration exercise by stating that effective monitoring of these registered firms was necessary to ensure compliance with anti-money laundering laws.

Meanwhile, the FCA has been criticized for the long waiting period crypto businesses have faced when trying to register. The FCA has extended the application deadline for crypto firms until March 2022.

In January 2020, the FCA assumed regulatory oversight of the U.K.’s crypto asset space, enacting a registration regime for businesses in the sector. The regulator also extended its financial crime reporting requirements to include virtual asset service providers in April.

While the tender offer specified a one-off contract with no recurrence, the posting did indicate the possibility of a 24-month tenure extension.

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