EU reaches agreement on crypto measures

The EU has reached agreement on critical elements of crypto-asset regulation.

The European Parliament and the European Council have reached a provisional deal new legislation aiming to ensure that crypto transfers can always be traced and suspicious transactions blocked.

The agreement covers transfers in crypto assets. This rule requires that information on the source of the asset and its beneficiary travels with the transaction and is stored on both sides of the transfer. If an investigation is conducted into money laundering and terrorist financing, crypto-asset service providers (CASPs) will be obliged to provide this information to the authorities.

Before making the crypto-assets available to beneficiaries, providers will have to verify that the source of the asset is not subject to restrictive measures or sanctions, and there are no risks of money laundering or terrorism financing. There may be a public register for non-compliant and non-supervised CASPs, with which EU CASPs would not be allowed to trade.

The rules do not apply to person-to-person transfers conducted without a provider, such as bitcoins trading platforms, or among providers acting on their own behalf.

The EU Parliament, Council and the Commission are now working on the technical aspects of the agreement which must be approved by the Economic and Monetary Affairs and Civil Liberties and Justice Committees before it can be enforced.
Secondly, they reached agreement on the “markets in crypto-assets” proposal, which covers issuers of unbacked crypto-assets, stablecoins and trading venues and wallets where the assets are held. The new rules will operate in conjunction with the transfer of funds regulation. The new requirements will:
  • require all crypto-asset service providers to be authorised in order to operate with in the EU;
  • require that holders of stablecoins be offered a claim at any time and free of charge by the issuer;
  • bring all stablecoins under EBA supervision and require the issuer to have a presence in the EU;
  • require issuers of asset-referenced tokens (ARTs)  based on a non-European currency to have a registered office in the EU;
  • impose safeguards to protect assets in consumers’ wallets, and liability on providers who lose them;
  • introduce a market abuse regime relating to crypto products and services; and
  • impose the requirement to declare ESG information on actors in the crypto-markets.

NFTs will – at least initially – be outside scope unless they fall within any other category.

FIN. Team