Press statement

EU finance commissioner calls for swift passage of MiCA digital asset law

The European Commission’s finance commissioner has called for a speedy resolution to the passage of the region’s proposed digital assets law, known as the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) framework. Mairead McGuinness believes it will not only protect investors but also allow the commission to better enforce sanctions against Russia.

In her speech at the ECON Committee Structured Dialogue, McGuiness acknowledged that the face of money is changing, and digital currencies and the upcoming digital euro will dominate the sector in the near future. In addition to beefing up cybersecurity, McGuinness believes that the commission must also focus on regulations.

“Firstly, I really would like to see a political compromise on our MiCA – the Market in Crypto-assets proposal,” stated McGuinness, the Commissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets Union at the European Commission.

MiCA is a set of rules first proposed in 2020 and seeks to bring digital assets under the purview of European regulators. The framework creates unified regulations across the region and addresses some of the most pressing issues, including investor protection at a time when billions of dollars have been washed away in outright scams as well as dubious projects such as UST and LUNA. 

While most of the MiCA stipulations have been agreed upon, member states are set to meet this month to discuss whether to include NFTs under the new regulations, how to oversee virtual asset service providers (VASPs), regulation of stablecoins and a few other facets.

McGuinness believes that in addition to investor protection, MiCA could aid in sanctions enforcement. 

“Of course, sanctions implementation could be facilitated if our framework on crypto was in place, and if all crypto-asset service providers were regulated entities and subject to effective supervision in the European Union,” she stated.

When MiCA was first proposed back in 2020, it was just a way for the Commission to be proactive and act before investors were exploited. However, according to McGuinness, several events have taken place since then that have made the framework critical. In particular, she noted the war by Russia on Ukraine, the crash of Terra’s LUNA and UST tokens, and the most recent suspension of withdrawals by digital asset lender Celsius as key moments necessitating MiCA guidance.

“What I want and what I can tell you that MiCA rules will be the right tool to address the concerns on consumer protection, market integrity and financial stability. This is something that is so urgent given recent developments,” she said.

Bloomberg reports that the Commission is likely to finally pass MiCA this month. Citing sources with insider knowledge, the outlet reported that the remaining issues that currently hold up the framework would be ironed out in two meetings this month, one held on June 14 and the next slated for June 30.

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