UK’s FCA launches a permanent digital sandbox

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UK’s financial regulator launches a digital sandbox

The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced on Thursday, July 20th, that it will launch a digital sandbox.

The regulator said the permanent digital sandbox will be made available on August 1st, 2023, opening up the platform to an even broader range of innovative businesses, start-ups and data providers.

The platform will serve as a testing environment for firms to see how their products would perform at an early stage of development. 

This latest cryptocurrency news comes nearly three years after the regulator launched the sandbox on a trial basis. The FCA said the sandbox would also be available to data providers and would offer firms access to data sets, application program interfaces (API) and data security protection.

The FCA said;

“Until now, the platform has only been available temporarily to those participating in pilots and TechSprints.

The Digital Sandbox works to foster innovation and growth – more than half of the previous Small to Medium Enterprise participants in the pilots and TechSprints made positive developments, including launching new products, securing funding and partnerships, or receiving industry awards or recognitions.”

The digital sandbox provides data security protection

The regulatory agency pointed out that its digital sandbox has numerous features that would benefit developers. The sandbox’s integrated development environment allows experimentation while safeguarding the data assets on the platform. 

Furthermore, developers would have access to over 200 synthetic, public or anonymised data sets and over 1000 APIs to enable testing and validation of technology solutions.

The observation deck feature allows interested parties such as regulators, incumbents and others to observe in-flight testing at a technical level. Finally, the FCA believes that the sandbox could promote diversity of thought, share learnings and foster an ecosystem between teams, observers and mentors.

Former Economic Secretary John Glen rolled out the plans for the sandbox in 2022 with the aim of making the UK a cryptocurrency innovation hub. Previously, the sandbox was available only during pilots and TechSprints, which brought people from the financial industry together to address industry challenges.

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