London-based blockchain startup Tramonex as reportedly received the first approval from UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to issue digital money. The company received the approval on January 25th and may now issue electronic money (e-money) and provide payment services.
According to the FCA, Tramonex has permission to provide service enable cash placement on a payment account; provide service enabling cash withdrawals from a payment account; allows the company to execute payment transactions that are and are not covered by a credit line; allows the company to issue payment instruments or acquire payment transactions; money remittance; execute payment transactions through telecoms, IT systems, or network; issue electronic money. Tramonex may only provide payment services, within the scope of its existing registration, to no more than 1000 payment service users and the company cannot engage agents.
While commenting on the FCA approval Marc Avedissian, co-founder of Tramonex Labs, reportedly stated:
“Automation of payments using the blockchain and smart contracts will reduce costs of transactions, allowing for the adaptation of this solution across many different fields such as insurance, real estate and government, to name only a few. Previously the missing link was lack of regulation – Tramonex Labs is very proud to provide a regulated environment where digital payments can be executed in a secure and transparent way.”
The FCA approval comes less than one year after Tramonex received a £250,000 grant from Innovate UK to fund the development of a cross currency payments system that leverages blockchain technology. At the time, Avedissian shared:
“It’s only a question of time until blockchain technology goes mainstream and becomes the standardised option for cross-currency transfers. With this grant, Tramonex wants to provide a platform to create a common standard, to ultimately reduce the time and cost to transact across currencies.”
Although Tramonex is the first to receive FCA approval, People’s Bank of China (PBOC) recently became the first central bank to issue digital currency.