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10 May 2021

Europe awaits implementation of regulatory framework for crypto assets

Europe awaits implementation of regulatory framework for crypto assets

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We have to wait for the final version of the regulation to see if any exceptions to this broad scope of application will be introduced in the negotiation process.

MiCA provides a set of comprehensive regulatory requirements for issuers, including different licensing and operational requirements depending on the type of crypto assets involved.

The issuers of asset-referenced tokens and e-money tokens will have to be authorized and established in the EU.

Issuers of asset-referenced tokens will be subject to certain capital, governance and business conduct requirements, and issuers of e-money tokens will also have to be licensed as a credit or electronic money institution and will have to additionally comply with the operational requirements of the e-money legal regime.

E-money tokens will have to be issued and redeemed at par value, and the holders will have to be provided with a direct claim against the issuer.

To address risks of larger projects (like global stablecoins), MiCA provides an additional, more stringent set of rules for “significant” asset-referenced tokens and e-money tokens.

For such “significant” tokens, which are classified as such by the European Banking Authority, or EBA, on the basis of the criteria listed in MiCA, there will be stronger capital, investor and EBA supervisory requirements that cover governance, conflicts of interest, reserve assets, custody and the white paper obligations.

This process will hopefully help to fine-tune MiCA provisions, remove frictions, address any issues and arrive at the most optimal regulation that meets the needs and expectations of all the stakeholders.

After MiCA comes into force, there is still an 18-month delay in application of the regulation, except with regard to e-money tokens and asset-referenced tokens, to which the regulation will apply immediately.

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