(Reuters) – European Union countries have given the final green light to the world’s first comprehensive set of rules for crypto assets, pressuring countries like Britain and the United States to keep up.
EU finance ministers meeting in Brussels approved the rules that were discussed with the European Parliament, which approved the rules in April.
Cryptocurrency regulation has become even more urgent for the authorities after the collapse of the FTX trading platform.
“Recent events have underscored the urgent need to impose better rules to protect Europeans who have invested in these assets and prevent misuse of the cryptocurrency sector for money laundering and terrorist financing purposes,” said Elisabeth Svantesson, Sweden’s Finance Minister. who currently holds the presidency of the European Union.
The rules state that companies wishing to issue, trade, and protect crypto assets, tokenized assets, and stablecoins in the 27 member states must obtain a license. Crypto companies say they want certainty of regulation and are pressing other countries to follow European Union rules and authorities to develop global rules for cross-border activity.
Britain has outlined a phased approach, starting with stablecoins and later expanding to unsecured cryptocurrencies, though there is no specific roadmap.
The United States has focused on using existing securities rules to enforce law in the industry, and decisions are pending on whether to introduce dedicated new rules and who will enforce them.
Hester Pearce, one of the commissioners of the US derivatives regulator, CFTC, said last week that several federal and state authorities are trying to figure out what regulatory role they can play in the cryptocurrency industry.
“We’re trekking a little bit in the desert,” Pearce said at a conference.
(Translated by Enrico Scacovelli, edited by Claudia Christoferi)
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