PanaTimes

Saturday, Feb 04, 2023

EU agrees on landmark rules to tame 'Wild West' crypto market

EU agrees on landmark rules to tame 'Wild West' crypto market

The rules aim to better protect consumers from wild swings in cryptocurrencies and require more transparency on the industry’s environmental impact.

The European Union has agreed on landmark rules for regulating the cryptocurrency industry, whose meltdown has been wiping out fortunes and sparking calls for tighter scrutiny worldwide.

EU negotiators hammered out the final details for a provisional agreement late on Thursday on a sweeping package of crypto regulations for the bloc’s 27 nations, known as Markets in Crypto Assets, or MiCA.

"Today, we put order in the Wild West of crypto assets and set clear rules for a harmonised market,” said Stefan Berger, the lead lawmaker negotiating the rules.

The EU's crypto rules "will ensure a harmonised market, provide legal certainty for crypto-asset issuers, guarantee a level playing field for service providers and ensure high standards for consumer protection," he said in a statement.

The new law gives issuers of crypto assets and providers of related services a “passport” to serve clients across the EU from a single base, while meeting capital and consumer protection rules.

Like the EU’s trendsetting data privacy policy, which became the de facto global standard, and its recent landmark law targeting harmful content on digital platforms, the crypto regulations are expected to be highly influential worldwide.

The EU rules are "really the first comprehensive piece of crypto regulation in the world," said Patrick Hansen, crypto venture adviser at Presight Capital, a venture capital fund.

"I think there will be a lot of jurisdictions that will look closely into how the EU has dealt with it since the EU is first here," Hansen said.

He expected authorities in other places, especially smaller countries that don’t have the resources to draw up their own rules from scratch, to adopt ones similar to the EU’s, though "they might change a few details".


Protecting novice crypto investors


Under the Markets in Crypto Assets regulations, exchanges, brokers and other crypto companies face strict rules aimed at protecting consumers.

Companies issuing or trading crypto assets such as stablecoins - which are usually tied to the dollar or a commodity like gold that make them less volatile than normal cryptocurrencies - face tough transparency requirements requiring them to provide detailed information on the risks, costs and charges that consumers face.

The rules will help novice crypto investors avoid falling victim to frauds and scams that regulators have warned are widespread in the industry.

"That’s a huge benefit in this space, especially for someone who has absolutely no idea where to go to or who to seek out or where to put my money into," said Jackson Mueller, director of policy and government affairs at Securrency, a blockchain infrastructure company.

Providers of Bitcoin-related services would fall under the regulations, but not Bitcoin itself, the world's most popular cryptocurrency that has lost more than 70 per cent of its value from its November peak.


Addressing crypto's carbon footprint


To address concerns about the carbon footprint left by Bitcoin mining, which guzzles massive amounts of electricity for “proof of work” computer processing to record and secure transactions, crypto companies will have to disclose their energy use and prominently display information online about their environmental and climate impact.

Negotiators exempted NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, which have boomed over the past year.

The EU said that unlike cryptocurrencies, the digital assets, which can represent artwork, sports memorabilia or anything else that can be digitised, are unique and sold at a fixed price. But it left room to reclassify them later as a crypto asset under MiCA or as a financial instrument.

The European rules are aimed at maintaining financial stability - a growing concern for regulators amid a string of recent crypto-related crashes. For example, the stablecoin TerraUSD imploded last month, erasing an estimated $40 billion (€38.2 billion) in investor funds with little or no accountability.

The meltdowns have spurred calls for regulation, with other major jurisdictions still drawing up their strategies. In the US, President Joe Biden issued an executive order in March on government oversight of cryptocurrency, including studying the impact on financial stability and national security.

Last month, California became the first state to formally begin examining how to broadly adapt to cryptocurrency, with plans to work with the federal government on crafting regulations.

The UK also has unveiled plans to regulate some cryptocurrencies.

A few European countries, like Germany, already have basic crypto regulations. One of the EU’s goals is bringing rules in line across the bloc, so that a crypto company licensed in one country would be able to offer services in other member states.

The EU rules, which would still need final approval and are expected to take effect by 2024, include measures to prevent market manipulation, money laundering, terrorist financing and other criminal activities.

The EU also provisionally agreed on Wednesday on new rules subjecting cryptocurrency transfers to the same money-laundering rules as traditional banking transfers.

When a crypto asset changes hands, information on both the source and the beneficiary would have to be stored on both sides of the transfer, according to the new rules. Crypto companies would have to hand this information over to authorities investigating criminal activity such as money laundering or terrorist financing.

The EU institutions are working out the technical details before the crypto tracing rules receive final approval.

Newsletter

Related Articles

PanaTimes
Close
0:00
0:00
Charlie Munger, calls for a ban on cryptocurrencies in the US, following China's lead
EU found a way to use frozen Russian funds
First generation unopened iPhone set to fetch more than $50,000 at auction.
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said he will block Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from serving on the House Intelligence Committee
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
What is ChatGPT?
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Germany confirms it will provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
US imposes Covid testing for visitors from China
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Addresses Joint Session of Congress - FULL SPEECH
Where is Rishi? Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's excuses about the UK's economic challenges just don't make sense
Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried finally arrested in Bahamas after U.S. files charges
Corruption works: House Financial Services Chair Waters doesn't plan to subpoena her donor, Sam Bankman-Fried, to testify at hearing on FTX collapse
Ronaldo's new contract...
Prince William's godmother resigns honorary royal role after exposing her/their racism
Tax fraud verdict again exposes illusion of Trump the master businessman
Tax fraud verdict again exposes illusion of Trump the master businessman.
×