Wednesday, September 28

Economy will accelerate the regulation of crypto assets in the new market law

Crypto assets, with bitcoin and other digital currencies in the forefront, have become a problem for supervisors such as the Bank of Spain and the CNMV. The European regulation on the subject (MiCA) will be approved, except by surprise, in the first half of 2022, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs wants it to be applied as soon as possible. Thus it will introduce all the necessary elements in the reform of the Spanish market law; the objective is that this also receives the green light next year.

Waiting for the European regulation of crypto assets, MiCA (acronym for markets in crypto-assets) is getting long since the first draft was published, back in September of last year. Several European countries, such as France, Germany and Luxembourg, have taken the lead and are creating rules on their own to get ahead of Brussels.

But Spain is also moving with the objective that this new market has in the shortest possible time a regulatory framework that allows the development of the industry and the due protection of users – read, investors in most cases – of crypto assets. . Sources familiar with the intentions of the ministry led by the first vice president of the Government, Nadia Calviño, point out that the reform of the Securities Market Law, submitted to public consultation until last May and now in the reporting phase, will leave the entire regulatory scheme Spanish prepared so that the European regulation can be applied without any delay.

The purpose is that the community standard is approved in the first semester of next year, although Its full application will last until 2024, as published by CincoDías on December 20. From Economic Affairs, from the Bank of Spain, from the CNMV and from the Spanish cryptoactive sector they want the terms to be shortened as much as possible. And that is being worked on.

The European standard, being a regulation instead of a directive, will be directly applicable, but some matters have to be adapted to national legislation, such as the sanctioning and supervisory regime, among others. From the outset, these issues will be those that will be included in the final text of the reform of the Securities Market Law which, before beginning the legislative process, must go through the Council of State.

Maximum speed

It is intended that the application of MiCA will be extremely fast, since the last detail can be done through royal decrees, without having to modify the Securities Market Law. Legal sources point out that, ultimately, the door opens for European crypto regulations to be implemented earlier than in the rest of the Club’s countries.

The first draft of the rule provided a period of 18 months from the entry into force – usually a few weeks after its publication – for its effective application. The last one extends it to 24 months, because a flood of technical standards will be necessary. It will be the power of each country to decide if it anticipates the implementation of certain points of European regulations.

In the coming weeks, the CNMV circular will be published, thanks to which it will have prior control, except for significant changes in the content of this rule, over advertising campaigns that are considered massive. The supervisor must be informed of all of them at least 15 days in advance.

Managers and BME will have an advantage

  • Beyond banking. The latest draft of the MiCA regulation expands the ability to offer crypto assets beyond banks and securities firms and agencies. The text also includes investment fund managers, market operators, such as BME in Spain, and electronic money entities. “The previous version of MiCA only recognized credit institutions and investment services companies (ESI) the possibility of providing services on crypto assets with a mere notification to the competent authority”, indicates Gloria Hernández Aler, partner of the firm finReg 360º.
  • Notification only. According to the new text, just by notifying it, the managers will be able to provide advisory services, portfolio management and receipt of crypto assets. Electronic money entities may guard them on behalf of third parties, and market operators, such as BME, may provide the service of exploitation of a multilateral crypto-asset trading system.

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