The London-based news publication Citywire reported on Friday that the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced it had launched an investigation into 24 cryptocurrency companies due to potential price manipulation of several cryptocurrencies.
In response to a request made by accounting and consulting firm Moore Stephens under the UK's Freedom of Information Act, the FCA stated, "If we conclude that they are [conducting activities that require FCA authorization], then we may investigate and take action, identifying and determining the most serious matters which pose the greatest risk to consumers."
The FCA added that reports from seven would-be whistleblowers concerning the activities of cryptocurrency companies have been opened so far this year. The names of companies under investigation have yet to be revealed.
Although the FCA is not obligated to regulate digital currency, the agency will continue to intervene on a case-by-case basis.
It is still unclear what actions the FCA might take against any offending companies, but they could include posting a warning about a specific coin, person, or company on the FCA website. If the alleged misconduct is severe enough, the FCA might go as far as to freeze assets or press criminal charges.
This is not the first time the FCA has investigated cryptocurrencies. In September and November of 2017, the FCA released consumer reports warning against the dangers of investing in ICOs and cryptocurrency CFDs, respectively.