Cryptocurrency firms will need a license and customer guarantees to issue and sell digital tokens in the European Union, as agreed last week on the Markets in Crypto Assets Act (MiCA).
“We bring order to the Wild West of crypto assets and set clear rules for a harmonized market,” said Stefan Berger, the lawmaker who led the negotiations on behalf of the European Parliament. The agreement will need the approval of the European Parliament and the EU states to become law, followed by an application period.
In detail, the aforementioned license will allow operators to serve the entire block of 27 countries from a single base and will make them responsible for the loss of crypto assets from consumers' digital wallets.
The EU rules will give holders of stablecoins (crypto assets that have some form of backing, for example a peg to the dollar) the right to claim their money for free. The issuers of the tokens will have to maintain minimum levels of liquidity and will be supervised by the European Banking Authority of the EU, and these platforms must have a registered office in the community bloc to issue stablecoins and thus avoid problems related to extraterritoriality.
At the moment, NFTs (non-fungible tokens), typical of digital works of art, have been left out of the regulations, except for a few cases.
Lastly, cryptocurrency companies will have to disclose their impact on the environment and climate change.
Legal sources consulted believe that we are facing a "significant step, but insufficient", since its scope of application is limited to the community territory. In practice, it is enough that the illicit activity has its computer origin in Andorra, Switzerland or San Marino for the regulations to be without effect.
The issue of regulating cryptoactives has sparked heated debates for some time. Aldo Olcese, Digital Coin Commissioner
In a more general way, the members of the crypto community consider that the new regulations of the sector must be stopped in order not to alter either the innovation within the European Union or the libertarian spirit with which digital cryptography was born.