Increasing EU attention to the Regulation of Crypto Assets
On the 9th of January, ESMA (European Securities Markets Authority) published its Advice to the EU Institutions on the regulation or need for regulation of crypto assets across the EU. I provide a link to the publication hereunder.
What emerges distinctly from this paper is that there is a clear policy drive at EU Regulatory level to ensure crypto assets having the features and characteristics of financial instruments to be regulated under the established investment services and capital markets regimes applying across the EU but what is even more interesting is that assets falling outside this financial instrument test – so to speak – are of increasing concern to the Authority and a gap area it will continue to push for harmonised regulation on.
The writing is on the wall, and in my mind it is only a question of time before the regulatory void that has possibly characterised and explains a lot of the attention, interest and speculation seen in crypto is gradually addressed to negate the regulatory arbitrage opportunity that a lot of crypto assets have benefited from and exploited so far.