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Ability to hire skilled crypto staff is a "major concern," according to the EBA Chief

The ability to hire specialized talent to oversee its crypto regulation is a "major concern," according to the chair of the European Banking Authority.

The retention of talent, according to José Manuel Campa, is a "major concern," especially in the fields of "technology, anything related to crypto, digitisation [or artificial intelligence]," noting that these professionals are "in high demand across society."

The regulator was recently given the responsibility of regulating cryptocurrencies within the EU, but Mr. Campa revealed in an interview with the Financial Times that the organization was concerned about the logistics of planning for its new oversight because it will not know which digital coins it has the authority to regulate until close to 2025.

The EBA will be tasked with regulating "significant" tokens used as a form of payment and tokens linked to conventional assets under the proposed Markets in Cryptoassets Regulation (MiCA), which was approved by the EU Council at the end of June.

French Minister for the Economy Bruno Le Maire promised that the historic regulation would put an end to the "crypto wild west" in his announcement that MiCA would also require the EBA to keep a public register of non-compliant crypto asset service providers.

Despite these assurances, the EBA's pay rates for cryptocurrency experts are comparable to those of the European Commission. Salaries have increased as the financial sector fights to retain and attract talent, and the EBA is unable to match private-sector offerings.

Giving the EBA complete control over compensation packages, according to Mr. Campa, was "not within the range of possible discussions" between the regulator and the European Commission.

He said that the EBA was concerned that the set of institutions under its remit could change at the last minute given the volatility and speed of the crypto market.

"I don’t know exactly what I would be confronted with in two years," Mr. Campa admitted, noting that the industry is "very dynamic" and might have "moved and transformed into other uses that I cannot anticipate."

"My concern is more about making sure the risk we have identified… is properly managed. If we don’t do as well as we should have, we’ll have to live with the consequences," he said.


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