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Cryptocurrencies

EBA and ESMA ask for cryptocurrency and ICO regulations

Friday 11 January 2019 | 10:20 AM CET

Two European financial authorities have published reports calling for a European Union-wide approach to cryptocurrency and ICO regulation to help ensure investor protection.

While assessing the European Union (EU) laws and how they relate to crypto assets, the European Banking Authority (EBA) has found that “a significant portion of activities involving crypto-assets do not fall within the scope of the current EU financial services law” and are not uniform across the EU.

As for the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), its report advises the European Commission, Council, and Parliament on how to address the gaps in crypto asset and ICO regulations within the EU.

ESMA finds that some crypto assets may qualify as financial instruments under the markets in financial instrument directive (MiFID), which protects investors by requiring organizations to disclose information, including data on trading activity, and ensuring that organized trading takes place on regulated platforms. Also, ESMA's goal in establishing cryptocurrency regulation is not mass crypto adoption as an alternative to fiat currency.

ESMA advises the European Commission, Council, and Parliament to focus on providing buyers with information about the risks associated with crypto assets that may not be considered financial instruments, rather than offering buyers a more “elaborate regime” that focuses on crypto assets that are financial instruments.

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