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Apr 21, 2023

European Parliament approves cryptocurrency licensing and fund transfer rules

European Union lawmakers on Thursday voted 517 in favor (38 against) of a new cryptocurrency licensing regime (MiCA, for Markets in Crypto Assets) making the EU the first major jurisdiction in the world to introduce a comprehensive cryptocurrency law.

The European Parliament also voted 529 in favor (and 29 against) a separate law known as the Transfer of Funds Regulation (ToF), which requires cryptocurrency operators to identify their customers in an attempt to stop money laundering.

The vote follows a debate on Wednesday in which lawmakers overwhelmingly backed plans to force cryptocurrency wallet providers and exchanges to apply for a license to operate across the bloc, and require issuers of stablecoins linked to the value of other assets to maintain sufficient reserves.

Mairead McGuinness of the European Commission described the vote as a “world first” for cryptocurrency rules. “We are protecting consumers and safeguarding financial stability and market integrity,” McGuinness said. The rules will start to apply from next year.

In a statement released by the European Parliament, Stefan Berger, the lawmaker who led negotiations on the law, said the rules put the EU “at the forefront of the token economy, with more than 10,000 crypto assets. Consumers will be protected against deception and fraud, and the industry hurt by the FTX collapse will be able to regain confidence. “.

The European Securities and Markets Authority also welcomed the vote in a tweet, and said it will “announce in due course” its timetable for developing secondary legislation under MiCA.

The Regulation on cryptoasset markets was first proposed by the European Commission in 2020, and to become law it must be approved by the EU Parliament and Council, which represents the bloc’s member states. Its main provisions will start to apply just over 12 months after its publication in the EU Official Journal, probably in June.

Who is affected by this regulation?

If you are a company that performs an activity related to cryptoassets in the European Union (companies called CASP), you are affected. CASPs will be forced to do a diligence of all clients in order to be able to share information when the client performs a transaction

Want to know more? We recommend you to read the article Regulation MiCA Will you be obliged to perform a KYC?.

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