The European Council has established new legislation requiring any company that issues or trades bitcoin to be licenced.
The passage of the markets in crypto-assets (MiCA) rule provides the crypto market with EU-wide regulatory oversight for the first time.
National governments will have three months to provide the appropriate authorization framework for crypto firms who want to operate.
National governments will be required to provide information to the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) on a regular basis for the largest cryptocurrency firms.
The new laws might have a significant impact on crypto casinos and other gaming enterprises operating in the industry.
MiCA AML policies
MiCA notably avoids discussing money laundering in order to avoid duplication with the European Union's recently established AML framework, which contained laws addressing cryptocurrencies.
The new laws do, however, include clauses requiring the European Banking Authority (EBA) to keep a list of non-compliant crypto firms.
MiCA also requires that organisations that engage in cryptocurrency activities implement "enhanced checks" in accordance with the EU AML framework if the parent company is located in a country on the EU list of states that are high-risk for money laundering and on the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.
“I am very pleased that today we are delivering on our promise to start regulating the crypto-assets sector,” said Swedish finance minister Elisabeth Svantesson.
“Recent events have confirmed the urgent need for imposing rules which will better protect Europeans who have invested in these assets and prevent the misuse of crypto industry for the purposes of money laundering and financing of terrorism.”
Framework for cryptocurrency development
The proposed guidelines were first submitted by the European Commission in September 2020. MiCA is part of a larger digital finance package aimed at "developing a European approach that fosters development while also ensuring financial stability and consumer protection."
Aside from MiCA, the package also includes a digital financial strategy and a Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA), which includes crypto firms.
“Recent developments on this quickly evolving sector have confirmed the urgent need for an EU-wide regulation,” said French minister for the economy, finance and industrial and digital sovereignty, Bruno Le Maire, when the rules were first proposed.
“MiCA will better protect Europeans who have invested in these assets and prevent the misuse of crypto-assets, while being innovation-friendly to maintain the EU’s attractiveness. This landmark regulation will put an end to the crypto wild west and confirms the EU’s role as a standard-setter for digital topics.”
By fLEXI tEAM