It must be hard being the City regulator when so many people think they can get rich quick. The Financial Conduct Authority’s most important job is to protect consumers using financial services, but many have developed a taste for putting their savings into wildly confusing and speculative cryptocurrencies. As of last year, 2.3 million Britons owned “crypto assets” such as bitcoin and half of them intend to buy more.
Yet the industry is infused with digital pickpockets: £145 million was lost to crypto-fraud in the UK last year. The recent market cataclysm — during which $2 trillion was wiped off cryptocurrencies – might have dampened the party mood but the merry-go-round is likely to start again soon, and when it does thousands more will eye