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European Regulatory Chair Supports New Digital Asset Regulations

Delivering his speech at the FinTech Conference 2019 earlier this week in Brussels, Belgium, ESMA Chairman Steven Maijoor reportedly outlined the need to apply regulations to digital assets in order to help investors. He also expressed his support for expanding Europe’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) requirements to include those involved in the exchange of one crypto asset to another, and not just the exchange between crypto and fiat currency.

“Where crypto assets do not qualify as financial instruments, we are concerned that the absence of applicable financial rules leaves consumers exposed to substantial risks. [...] This makes it plain to see that we cannot legally qualify crypto assets via a ‘one size fits all’ approach.”

In addition to digital assets, Maijoor proposed to extend new regulations to initial coin offerings (ICOs). Maijoor reportedly stated that most European jurisdictions support the idea that cryptocurrencies need proper regulation if they received profit or dividend rights, which makes them similar to traditional financial assets.

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