The European Union has agreed on ground-breaking rules for regulating crypto assets, EU lawmakers said on Thursday, as the rout in bitcoin piles pressure on authorities to rein in the sector.
Globally, crypto assets are largely unregulated, with national operators in the EU only required to show controls for combating money laundering.
Representatives from the European Parliament and EU states thrashed out a deal on the markets in crypto assets (MiCA) law, which is expected to come into force around the end of 2023.
“Today, we put order in the Wild West of crypto assets and set clear rules for a harmonised market,” said Stefan Berger, the centre right lawmaker who led negotiations on behalf of the parliament.
“The recent fall in the value of digital currencies shows us how highly risky and speculative they are and that it is fundamental to act,” Berger said.
MiCA will be the first comprehensive regime for crypto-assets in the world and will contain strong measures to guard against market abuse and manipulation, added Ernest Urtasun, a Green Party lawmaker in the parliament.