Blockchain leads first round of FinTech firms entering FCA’s sandbox

Major blockchain companies will be able to use sandbox to test products and services.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has revealed the first round of FinTech firms to join its regulatory sandbox, with major blockchain companies leading the group.

Distributed ledger technology firms like SETL, BitX and Nivaura were among the companies listed that are ready to enter the testing phase.

The FCA said it received 69 applications from a range of sectors, geographies and sizes to join the sandbox and 24 of those are expected to begin testing shortly.

The regulatory sandbox provides a “safe space” for FinTech companies to test products, services and delivery mechanisms in a live environment.

It was launched alongside the FCA’s Project Innovate in 2014.

Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said the selection process was intense for both the firms and the regulator.

“We look forward to these businesses bringing new products and services to market whilst we ensure that appropriate consumer protection safeguards are in place,” he said.

Testing will be conducted on a short-term and small-scale basis and the FCA has worked with the 24 companies to agree testing parameters.

FinTech firms can apply for the second sandbox cohort from 21 November this year and it is open to start-ups, incumbents and anything in between.