Payset prespective
June 22, 2023

The Current State of the UK Crypto Industry

The United Kingdom is currently one of the most promising locations for blockchain and crypto development. The UK government is advocating for innovation, a significant number of citizens have become crypto investors, and companies are collectively taking in billions in crypto-related revenue.‍ The country also has certain regulations that could limit future growth — though those same restrictions could provide greater customer safety and protections against financial crime. ‍ This is the current state of the crypto industry in the UK.

How widespread is crypto in the UK?

As of 2023, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have existed for about 15 years. This means that companies and consumers alike have had plenty of time to enter the market.

Today, a small but significant number of UK citizens hold Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Statista estimates that 4.7 million UK citizens, or 7% of the country's entire population, held cryptocurrency at the end of 2022. That number rose over the previous months.

Other Statista data suggests that more than 200 businesses across the UK accepted cryptocurrency or had a crypto ATM in 2021. About three-quarters of those businesses are located in London. 

The UK crypto industry is significant in terms of annual revenue as well. Statista data suggests that revenue in the UK crypto industry is $1.89 billion (1.5 billion GBP) in 2023. The same data predicts that the country’s crypto revenue could grow 18.8% to $3.37 billion (2.7 billion GBP) by 2027.

Statista’s data on crypto revenue concerns centrally operated services such as crypto exchanges and “neobanks” but not decentralized cryptocurrency services or Web 3.0 transactions. As such, some cryptocurrency transactions that took place in the UK may not be part of that data.

How does the UK government view crypto?

The UK government has expressed a favorable stance toward cryptocurrency. In February 2023, HM Treasury said that the country intends to set out rules and "ambitious plans" for the crypto sector. It said that this course of action will "grow the economy by robustly regulating crypto asset activities."

Specifically, the government said that it will create rules around admission and disclosure for crypto exchanges, rules around promotions, and rules for intermediaries and custodians.

Those statements make it clear that the U.K. plans to build a strong crypto industry, but that wording is more restrained than it was in HM Treasury’s previous statements from April 2022

There, the agency said it intended to make the UK a “global cryptoasset technology hub” and legitimize stablecoin payments. Incidentally, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak — formerly Chancellor of the Exchequer for 2 years — holds pro-crypto stances and is largely responsible for the government’s 2022 crypto hub plans.

Some of the country’s work is moving slowly or not at all. Consideration of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), or digital pound, has been underway since 2021 and is still in the examination stage. Meanwhile, plans for a collectible non-fungible token (NFT) from the Royal Mint have been dropped. 

Both of those plans would represent developments from the government itself — not regulation of private cryptocurrency projects — and are therefore highly significant.

What UK regulations currently apply to crypto?

Cryptocurrency and related services, such as exchanges and wallets, are generally considered legal in the U.K. However, there are numerous rules and restrictions in place. 

For general crypto investors, the most important of those rules are tax requirements. In a recent guidance document, HM Treasury said that crypto holders need to pay capital gains tax if they sell, trade, spend, or give away their cryptocurrency. Income taxes also apply when one receives cryptocurrency.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is responsible for most other types of crypto regulation. For example, the FCA regulates crypto exchanges and other companies by requiring those businesses to register and comply with rules such as anti-money laundering (AML) regulations.

As of June 2023, more than 40 crypto companies have registered successfully with the FCA.

The FCA has taken action towards certain unregistered crypto services. Starting in 2021, the FCA said that the Binance cryptocurrency exchange — or more precisely, the companies responsible for it — are not permitted to operate in the UK. Several banks in turn blocked user payments to and from Binance.

The FCA also creates broader rules. On June 6, 2023, it said that it will introduce “tough new rules” concerning cryptocurrency marketing. Beginning in October 2023, crypto companies will need to provide warnings in advertising. Plus, they will be restricted from offering “refer-a-friend” bonuses.

Rules around stablecoins are pending as well. The Financial Services and Markets Bill, which will determine how much authority the FCA has over stablecoins, is in the report stage as of June 2023.

How do UK regulations compare to US regulations?

Though UK regulators are strict in many ways, the country has largely refrained from taking action against reputable and established crypto companies. By contrast, US regulators have often penalized such companies in a practice that is sometimes called “regulation by enforcement.”

The UK’s limited enforcement actions have attracted praise from Coinbase, which is based in California and is the second largest crypto exchange by trading volume. Coinbase was charged with violating US securities law in June 2023 and has repeatedly complained that US regulators provide no path to registration. Its CEO has noted that the UK, by contrast, is “moving fast on sensible crypto regulation.” 

Binance, the largest crypto exchange by trading volume, also views the UK as a promising market. Like Coinbase, it faced charges from US regulators in June 2023. 

Prior to that, in May 2023, Binance’s CCO said that the company will do “everything [it] possibly can” to gain approval in the UK due to harsh American laws. The executive apparently expressed this hope in spite of the restrictions that the FCA has imposed on Binance-related payments in the U.K. 

How do UK regulations compare to EU regulations?

UK regulations also exist alongside pending laws from the European Union (EU). The EU is currently implementing a framework called Regulation on Markets in Cryptoassets (MiCA).

Though both sets of regulations concern similar aspects of cryptocurrency, MiCA regulations lay out a framework for EU member countries to work with alongside existing EU regulation. By contrast, the UK's regulatory rules, especially those from the FCA, are applied directly to companies within the country. One law firm has published a more extensive comparison of the EU and UK crypto models.

It is unclear whether the UK’s regulatory model will eventually be more or less restrictive than others, but the outcome will undoubtedly impact where crypto companies choose to operate. 

If the UK succeeds in its goal, the country could become the “crypto hub” it aims to be.

Did you know Payset can now accept crypto deposits?

Payset accounts issued by Banking Circle can now receive funds from reputable cryptocurrency exchanges in both GBP and EUR. (We cannot support sending funds to a crypto exchange at this time.)

Don’t have a Banking Circle account with us? No problem! We'll create a dedicated account for you.

Contact our support team at or via WhatsApp for assistance.

open account

Frequently asked questions

What is a multi-currency account/virtual IBAN?

A Payset multi-currency account allows you to receive money in 34 different currencies and send money in up to 38 currencies, all within the same account.

You can deposit and withdraw funds, convert currencies at competitive exchange rates, and hold your chosen currencies to capitalize on market movements.

A Payset multi-currency account allows startups and business owners to receive payments from clients virtually anywhere in the world and pay suppliers, staff, and contractors quickly and affordably in their chosen currency.

  • Funds can be deposited and withdrawn from the account for a small fee.
  • Account holders can send and receive money with other Payset users for free.
  • Depending on your region, you can use various payment networks from your Payset account, including SWIFT, SEPA, ACH, Fedwire, Faster Payments, BACS, and CHAPS. 
  • Once you register an account, you will be provided with a Virtual IBAN (International Bank Account Number), which makes all of these transfers easy.
  • We provide you with local payments and collections. For example, transactions in USD, EUR, CAD, and GBP are processed through the local payment networks, which is far cheaper and takes minutes as opposed to days

Are there limits on the amount of money I can send and receive?

No, there are no transaction limits on Payset multi-currency accounts.

However, higher-volume transactions may require additional anti-fraud verification. If you plan to make a large transaction, contact us in advance to avoid verification delays.

How is Payset regulated?

Payset is regulated as an authorized Electronic Money Institution by the UK Financial Conduct Authority. Our activities are also regulated by the Payment Services Regulation 2017 and the Electronic Money Regulation 2011 (SI 2011/99).

How do I send money from my account?

Once you have opened your verified IBAN account and added money to a balance, transferring funds is simple.

Simply log in into your account and add a beneficiary, then simply “make a transfer” in your preferred currency to that beneficiary.

Information contained in this publication is provided for general education and information purposes only and should not be construed as legal, tax, investment or other professional advice or recommendation, or an offer of, or solicitation for, any transactions or any other actions (or refraining therefrom); This material has been prepared without taking into account any particular recipient’s financial objectives or situation. We make no warranty, guarantee or representation, whether express or implied, as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained herein or fitness thereof for a particular purpose; Use of images and symbols is made for illustrative purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation or advice to take or refraining from any action; Use of brand logos does not necessarily imply a contractual relationship between us and the entities owning the logos, nor does it represent an endorsement of any such entity by Pay Set Limited, or vice versa; Market information is made available to you only as a service, and we do not endorse or approve it; Any reference to past performance, predicted returns, or likelihood performance scenarios may not reflect actual future performance and certainly do not guarantee future outcomes.

Manage Global Payment with a Payset Business Account

Rating star

I wanted to express my appreciation for the successful cooperation between my firm and Payset. I would like to point out in particular the professionalism, the manner in which requests are handled, the quick response time and the satisfaction of the clients. I strongly believes that we will continue to move forward and create many collaborations in the future

Asaf and the team
Rating star

The experience of using PaySet account was really interesting. It is one of the most ergonomic systems I have ever used. Support provided is fast and enquires are resolved in no time. I am very satisfied for using this account! Keep going guys!

Christina Loizou
Accountant at Lytria
Rating star

Through our experience with Payset we are happy to say the services provided were accommodated to our needs perfectly and were performed professionally. The support and customer care is fast and efficient, no question or request is left unanswered or unresolved. 10/10

Payments and Risk Manager, CanadaP LTD
Rating star

For the past year, we have worked hand in hand with Payset Limited to assist us with numerous payments related services. At no one time have they failed me, and they have always been on time, making them one of our top reliable business partners.

Clearsky network
Payments Team
Clearsky Network

Getting started is easy

Say Hi

Say hi

Share a few details about your business and leave us your contact info

Get on Board

Get on board

An account executive will guide you through the on-boarding process which is quick and simple

Enjoy using it

Enjoy using it

Log-in to your account to manage your funds 24/7 and enjoy low fees and fast execution

Open account