Press release: Regulation of crypto-asset markets

Bucharest, 3 July 2023 - Regulation (EU) 2023/1114 of the European Parliament and of the Council on crypto-asset markets (MiCA) was published in the Official Journal of the EU.                                                                                  

MiCA aims primarily at establishing a common regulatory and supervisory framework for activities involving crypto-assets that are not subject to regulation under other EU rules and will apply to issuers of crypto-assets as well as providers of services for crypto-assets in the European Union. The absence of such rules may expose holders of such assets to significant risks and may also induce substantial risks to market integrity, including market abuse and financial crime.

The MiCA Regulation, which is due to apply effectively from 30 December 2024, will protect investors by increasing transparency and implementing a comprehensive framework for issuers and providers of crypto-asset services. For the implementation of this Regulation, it is necessary to develop a legal act establishing the competent authorities at national level and the allocation of tasks/responsibilities in view of the different categories of crypto-assets, while also taking into account the involvement and competences of the European banking and non-banking financial market supervisory authorities (EBA, ESMA, ECB).

"Given the complex obligations and the broad scope covered by this legislation, but also the fact that its application requires the involvement of both non-bank financial authorities and central banks, as well as other authorities with expertise in IT and consumer protection, but also other institutions that already have competences in this field, the Financial Supervisory Authority (ASF) has initiated discussions at technical level with the NBR and other authorities in order to take the preliminary steps to prepare the application of this legislation", said Mr. Ovidiu Petru, General Manager of the Financial Instruments and Investments Sector.

The new rules cover issuers of electronic money-like tokens (EMTs), asset-backed tokens (ARTs), and other types of crypto-assets provided they can demonstrate that the latter do not fit the EMT or ART characteristics. The new legislation also covers service providers for crypto-assets, trading venues, as well as providers of wallets in which crypto-assets are held. This regulatory framework aims to protect investors, preserve financial stability while allowing innovation and boosting the attractiveness of the crypto-assets market.

The regulation provides definitions for various aspects of the crypto-asset market, such as:

Crypto-assets: digital representations of value or rights that can be transferred and stored electronically using distributed ledger or similar technology.

Crypto-asset service providers: entities that provide services related to crypto-assets, such as managing trading platforms, exchanging crypto-assets for cash or other crypto-assets, and providing custody and management services for crypto-assets on behalf of clients.

The Regulation also lays down rules for marketing communications related to the tendering of crypto-assets, stating that such communications must be identified as such, be accurate, clear and not misleading. The Regulation also sets out requirements for a crypto-asset white paper, a document that issuers must prepare and make public when offering crypto-assets to the public.

As regards the promotion and use of digital technologies in the financial system, ASF encourages innovation and digitisation, being among the first authorities in the EU to authorise crowdfunding platforms, as required by European legislation.