The European Union’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council has given unanimous approval to the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation. The MiCA bill was also passed by the EU Parliament last month. The legislation sets out a comprehensive framework for regulating the crypto industry in the EU, including rules for utility tokens and stablecoins. The bill requires registration and authorization for issuers of cryptocurrencies, exchanges, and wallet providers. Stablecoin issuers must meet specific criteria, such as security and risk mitigation strategies. Crypto custody service providers must also implement security and safety measures to handle potential cybersecurity and operational failures. The EU believes MiCA will help prevent market abuse, manipulative tactics, and insider trading in the crypto space.
The next step is to publish the MiCA policy in the EU journal. The regulations for stablecoins are expected to take effect mid-way through 2024, while the broader rules on crypto service providers could go live from January 2025.
Travel Rule Guidelines Also to be Implemented
The EU also intends to implement Travel Rule guidelines from January 2025. The rule will address crypto transactions and require customers to be provided with information about the source of the assets and the beneficiary. The policy applies to transfers worth more than €1,000 from crypto wallet addresses to private users, but it will not apply to person-to-person transactions.
Industry leaders have praised the new rules, stating that they encourage crypto sector innovation while protecting consumers. Some have also urged U.S. authorities to apply clear regulations to the crypto industry to prevent an outflow of businesses and talent.