In a recent announcement, the European Union (EU) has formally signed into law new rules surrounding crypto licensing and money laundering. This development, which has been closely watched by stakeholders in the global financial and digital currency sectors, represents a significant step towards the regulation and legitimization of cryptocurrencies.
European Union Officially Incorporates Crypto Assets Into Its Legal Framework
On Wednesday, the European Union made a significant stride by officially enacting the landmark Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation. This move edges the bloc closer to being the world’s first major jurisdiction with custom-made rules for the crypto sector.
The law was endorsed by Roberta Metsola, the European Parliament President, and Peter Kullgren, the Swedish Minister for Rural Affairs. They also signed a distinct law aimed at combating money laundering, which mandates crypto providers to authenticate their customers’ identities during fund transfers.
The announcement of this milestone was made on Twitter by the Swedish government, which is currently leading the legislative discussions in its capacity as the EU presidency holder. A representative from the parliament confirmed that the newly enacted laws include the MiCA, fund transfer rules, and two unrelated trade regulations with Ukraine.
MiCA To Come Into Effect In June
The Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation, recently signed into law by the European Union, is set to come into effect a few weeks after its publication in the EU’s official journal, expected in June. This regulation will provide a comprehensive framework for crypto exchanges and wallet providers, offering them a license to operate across the 27-member bloc. Additionally, it will mandate stablecoin issuers to maintain adequate reserves. These provisions are slated to be implemented between 12 and 18 months later.
First proposed by the European Commission in 2020, MiCA sparked controversy when lawmakers nearly incorporated environmentally conscious provisions that could have led to a ban on the proof-of-work technology, a fundamental component of Bitcoin.
While the industry has generally welcomed these provisions, the focus is now shifting towards the next phase of EU crypto regulation. Future laws are expected to address emerging areas in the crypto space, such as staking, non-fungible tokens, and decentralized finance.
In tandem with the MiCA, the EU has also enacted a separate anti-money laundering (AML) law. This law, requiring crypto providers to verify their customers’ identities during fund transfers, underscores the EU’s commitment to ensuring the integrity of its financial system. The simultaneous enactment of the MiCA and the AML law illustrates the EU’s balanced approach to crypto regulation, fostering innovation while mitigating risks.
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