4 Best FCA Registered Crypto Exchanges in the UK

Photo by DrawKit Illustrations on Unsplash

In March 2020, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced that all cryptocurrency exchanges needed to be officially registered with the FCA or else stop operating in the UK.

To become officially registered, exchanges needed to prove they were fully compliant with the UK’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing laws. More than a hundred companies applied for registration, but dozens have been forced to drop out and only a few have been granted registration so far.

Why Choose an Officially Registered Exchange?

FCA registration is a lengthy, complex and costly process. Companies that have gone through it have had to prove that they’re operating in full compliance with the law and that they have systems in place to prevent misuse of funds. As a result, FCA registered companies are more likely to have local offices, high-grade account security and good relationships with UK banks (i.e. it’s easy to get your cash in and out).

At a more basic level, FCA registration simply means that an exchange is operating legally in the UK. When it comes to your money that’s a good assurance to have.

(Temporary registration means that companies are allowed to keep operating while they go through the registration process, but doesn’t tell you if they’re going to be successful. Dozens of companies have had to drop out of the process so far.)

How Can I Find Out if my Exchange is FCA Registered?

The FCA lets you check the public register to ensure that a crypto company is operating legally.  There are three simple steps to check a company’s status:

  1. Check if the firm is on the FCA’s official list of Registered Cryptoasset Firms or firms with temporary registration.  
  2. If they aren’t on either FCA register, ask them if they are allowed to carry on business without being registered.
  3. If they aren’t allowed to carry on business, the FCA suggests withdrawing your crypto assets and/or money, as the firm is now operating without authority.

Best FCA Registered Exchanges

As of October 2021, only four cryptocurrency exchanges have been given official FCA registration.

1. CoinJar

One of the longest-running cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, CoinJar opened its UK branch in May 2020. With a focus on simplicity, ease-of-use and real world applications – their CoinJar Card Mastercard lets you spend your crypto like cash – they’re an excellent platform for both new investors and experienced traders. With over 40 leading cryptocurrencies to buy, sell and trade, they offer one of the largest crypto selections of any officially FCA registered exchange, all of which can be traded from within their intuitive and GBP-native mobile app. *Disclaimer: Don't invest unless you're prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong.

2. Coinpass

Since 2018, coinpass have been offering UK customers a simple way to buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum and a number of other leading cryptocurrencies using either GBP or Euro. With a no-frills interface and a focus on speedy cash deposits and user security, they’re a good option for those looking for a basic way to start building and managing their portfolio.

3. Ziglu

A true app-first cryptocurrency platform, Ziglu’s aim is to make investing in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano and a few other major cryptos as easy as managing your money in the bank. Also offering 5% interest accounts, Euro exchange options and a crypto-friendly debit card, Ziglu might not be for the seasoned traders, but it’s a slick, intuitive first stop for those setting out on their cryptocurrency journey.

4. Gemini

One of the true crypto originals, Gemini was founded back in 2012 by the infamous Winklevoss twins. Now operating all around the world, Gemini’s UK outfit offers users a full-suite crypto experience, including a wallet, exchange, lending protocol, native stablecoin and mobile app. Boasting more than 50 cryptocurrencies, a global liquidity pool and high-level security, it’s easy to see why they’ve become one of the world’s leading crypto brands.

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