UK Regulator Approves Kraken-Owned Cryptocurrency Derivatives Platform


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Crypto exchange Kraken’s UK-based subsidiary – Crypto Facilities – has bagged the coveted Multilateral Trading Facility (MTF) license from the UK financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

First Crypto Firm to Obtain the MTF License

In a first, Crypto Facilities, also known as Kraken Futures, a subsidiary of one of Europe’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges by reported volume has obtained the MTF License from the FCA.

This would enable Crypto Facilities to operate its derivatives platform in the UK, catering to institutional clients who are mandated by law to trade on licensed platforms only.

Notably, Crypto Facilities grabbing the license means it is now the only authorized derivative marketplace in Europe offering leveraged cryptocurrency trading. For the uninitiated, leveraged, cash-settled futures contracts make it convenient for traders aiming to benefit from exposure to bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies without necessarily having to hold the asset.

Commenting on the development, Jesse Powell, CEO, and Co-founder, Kraken, said:

We undergo these licensing efforts because Kraken is about making crypto accessible for everyone.


This particular license means that a sophisticated class of investors, limited by their own requirements to interface with a regulated venue such as an MTF, will now have access to crypto derivatives in Europe for the first time. More participants means more liquidity and a better experience for everyone.

Similar sentiments were echoed by Timo Schlafer, CEO, Crypto Facilities. Schlafer noted the significance of becoming the first licensed cryptocurrency derivatives exchange outside the US after having spearheaded the product since 2015.

For those not in the know, San Francisco-based Kraken acquired Crypto Facility earlier last year and has since been operating the platform as Kraken Futures.

In a relatively short period of time, Kraken Futures has cemented itself as a leading crypto futures provider, offering futures contracts in BTC, ether (ETH), XRP, bitcoin cash (BCH), and litecoin (LTC) with up to 50x leverage.

FCA’s Strict Stance toward Crypto Exchanges

Earlier this year, the FCA released a new set of strict regulations for crypto businesses in the UK. Following this, the financial watchdog warned Kraken and Hong Kong-based exchange BitMex against operating their business in the UK.

That said, the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies in the UK, as was evident in recent research, might force the regulator to ease its stance toward digital currencies. The approval of Kraken Futures could hint the softening approach of the FCA toward crypto businesses.

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