European Union (EU) policymakers have finalized a months-long deal on landmark legislation to regulate crypto assets and relevant service providers throughout the bloc’s 27 member nations.
Representing the world’s third-largest economy, the European Commission, Assembly, and Council had been discussing the issue of the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) framework for nearly two years. As of this Thursday, the concluded legislative packages set up requirements for crypto issuers to publish a “white paper,” a technical manifesto that outlines the rules of registering with the authorities and keeping proper bank-style reserves for stablecoins.
Stefan Berger, the parliamentarian in charge of seeing MiCA through the EU’s complex legislative process, tweeted confirmation that policymakers had reached an agreement. Mairead McGuinness, the Commissioner for financial services, financial stability, and Capital Markets Union, said: “We’re glad that we’re leading on this,” adding that “we do think there needs to be international cooperation because it’s important that we don’t regulate on our own.”
The proposal, announced in a press release, covers issuers of unbacked crypto-assets, stablecoins, the trading venues, and the wallets where crypto-assets are held. In a long Twitter thread, Ernest Urtasum, a member of the European Parliament, shared the outlines of the agreement on MiCa, stating: “Agreement between the EU institutions on MiCA: we will have a common harmonized EU-wide regime for crypto-asset issuers and service providers, that will provide security for investors and support sustainability, while reducing fragmentation and increasing legal clarity.”
Originally put forward by the European Commission in September 2020, MiCA were made to protect consumers against some of the risks associated with the investment in crypto-assets and fraudulent schemes. He added: “MiCA provide safeguards against cases like the crypto-crash, the collapse of the stablecoin LunaUSD. Large stablecoins will be subject to strict operational and prudential rules, with restrictions if they are used widely as a means of payment, and a cap of 200€millions in transactions/day.”
McGuinness suggested there’s more to the story. “No legislation is ever set in stone, and no legislation in the area of crypto could be. Those who are in this space are thinking of being innovative will now do it in a way that sits within our regulation rather than in the Wild West.”
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