Kraken gains first MTF license from FCA for crypto futures venue

Institutional investors will have access to crypto derivatives in Europe for the first time, following Kraken’s approval from the FCA to operate a crypto futures MTF.

Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has confirmed it has gained approval from the UK’s financial regulator to operate a crypto futures multilateral trading facility (MTF).  

Kraken said the approval from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) makes it the first licensed cryptocurrency futures venue in Europe. The move means Kraken can provide institutional clients, who are required to trade on licensed platforms, with trading services in crypto futures.

“We undergo these licensing efforts because Kraken is about making crypto accessible for everyone,” said Jesse Powell, CEO and co-founder of Kraken. “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.”

The approved MTF follows Kraken’s acquisition of Crypto Facilities in early 2019, which has since been operating as Kraken Futures. Crypto Facilities provides futures contracts in major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum.  

Crypto trading venue operators have long-argued that the industry needs properly-regulated exchanges that specialise in digital assets. Kraken described the approval as a watershed moment, reflecting the value that digital assets can bring to regulated instruments.

“Crypto Facilities has pioneered cryptocurrency derivatives since 2015. We are proud to now become the first licensed cryptocurrency derivatives exchange outside of the US,” Timo Schlaefer, CEO of Crypto Facilities, commented.