Social media bitcoin tipping service BottlePay has received a regulatory go-ahead to launch its real-time crypto payments app while satisfying the laws in the UK.
The move also comes at a time when the Lightning Network, the second layer bitcoin payment network leveraged by BottlePay, continues to enjoy steady growth.
The FCA’s approval means that the company, owned by crypto financial services and technology provider NYDIG, is compliant with AML laws in the UK, as far as its activities go. BottlePay was required to show that it maintains the same anti-money laundering standards as regulated banks in the country have to meet.
Bottlepay leverages Bitcoin’s Lightning Network to power the growth of micropayments through both fiat money and cryptocurrencies without exorbitant fees. The social payments app, which launched back in June 2019, shut down its operations in the same year as Europe was gradually tightening the rules for the crypto space.
After restructuring the crypto product to fit Europe’s AMLD5 regulations, the British startup is offering an exchange wallet with social features. Besides Twitter, Bottlepay offers its social-based, real-time payment service through Reddit, Discord, Twitch, Telegram and Mastodon.
A backlog in UK licensing applications
“Our registration with the FCA is an achievement not just for Bottlepay, but for the Lightning Network. This registration goes to show that we can build the financial infrastructure of the future while upholding the regulatory and compliance standards of today,” said Bottlepay founder Pete Cheyne.
Yan Zhao, President of NYDIG, added: “We are incredibly proud of what the Bottlepay team has accomplished. Securing FCA registration is a breakthrough event and is a testament to NYDIG’s and Bottlepay’s commitment to compliance. Together with Bottlepay, we will continue to work hard to make the Bitcoin network accessible to all.”
A handful of crypto asset firms are currently registered with Britain’s financial regulator. However, there are dozens of other crypto firms registered under the Temporary Registration Regime list. Genesis itself was listed on the FCA’s temporary crypto-asset business register.
Since January 2020, the City watchdog has become the anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing supervisor of UK’s crypto asset firms. At the time, the FCA kicked off a registration scheme for crypto-asset firms with an initial deadline of one year.
However, nearly 70 crypto businesses had withdrawn earlier submitted filings for registration as the country tightens its regulation on the space. By retracting their applications, these firms had to cease operation in the UK, though dozens are still being assessed by the FCA.
Amid a backlog of licensing applications, the FCA has extended its temporary licensing regime until March 2022 for firms whose applications haven’t yet been approved to allow them to continue trading.