ESMA initiates first crypto regulation consultation

ESMA initiates first crypto regulation consultation:

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the top regulator and supervisor of the European Union’s (EU) financial markets, has issued its inaugural consultation package under the framework of the Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation. Stakeholders are invited to share their views until 20 September 2023.

The first in a series of three consultation packages, ESMA is requesting suggestions on the anticipated regulations for crypto-asset service providers (CASPs). The main focus areas include the providers’ approval process, how to handle and identify conflicts of interest, and the appropriate procedures for addressing complaints.

Further, ESMA intends to gain a deeper understanding of the respondents’ existing and future operations in order to gain more nuanced knowledge of the EU’s crypto-asset markets and their prospective growth. The regulator is interested in various facets such as expected turnover, number of white papers to be published, and the choice between on-chain and off-chain trading methods. The feedback obtained in this portion of the consultation will remain confidential and will aid in fine-tuning the proposals for the subsequent consultation packages.

ESMA Chair, Verena Ross, stated, “This first consultation package is an important milestone for ESMA in the implementation of the MiCA framework. It translates our ambition to set high regulatory standards in the EU for crypto-asset related activities into concrete requirements.

We are determined to ensure entities involved in crypto-asset related activities understand that the EU is not a place for forum-shopping.  We also want to remind consumers that, even with the implementation of MiCA, there will be no such thing as a safe crypto-asset.”

ESMA, alongside this consultation, is poised to continue its work on the remaining mandates. The regulator plans to release a second consultation package in October 2023. More details on ESMA’s MiCA implementation measures can be found here.

Looking ahead, ESMA will take into account the feedback from this consultation. It anticipates the release of a final report and submission of the draft technical standards to the European Commission by 30 June 2024 at the latest for approval.

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