UK regulator grants license to upcoming digital securities exchange Archax

The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has approved Archax, an upcoming digital securities exchange in the country.

Announcing the news on Wednesday, Archax said it is the first digital securities trading and custody platform to receive a nod from the FCA. Specifically, Archax has received a multilateral trading facility (MTF) license for the digital securities marketplace, custody permissions to store clients’ digital and fiat assets, and brokerage permissions for its platform.

Archax CEO Graham Rodford said the approvals took “a while” and the application process was “tough.” Archax is set to launch its digital securities exchange later this year, said Rodford, adding that there are 35 issues in the pipeline.

Digital securities are tokenized forms of equity or debt on a blockchain, and help simplify the capital-raising process. They are easily tradeable and transferable, and thus help improve liquidity and settlement times. Archax said its platform utilizes R3’s Corda blockchain for “instantaneous real-time settlement.”

As The Block previously reported, all new and existing crypto businesses in the U.K. are required to be registered with the FCA. For existing crypto businesses, the final deadline to get registered is January 10, 2021, or they will have to cease their operations. New crypto businesses must be registered before commencing their activities.