Member states if the European Union approved the world’s first complete set of laws to regulate cryptoassets on Tuesday, putting pressure on countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States to come up.
An EU finance ministers meeting in Brussels endorsed guidelines hammered out with the European Parliament, which approved them in April.
The guidelines are slated to go into effect in 2024.
Following the bankruptcy of crypto exchange FTX, officials have prioritised crypto regulation.
“Recent events have confirmed the urgent need for imposing rules which will better protect Europeans who have invested in these assets, and prevent the misuse of crypto industry for the purposes of money laundering and financing of terrorism,” said Elisabeth Svantesson, finance minister for Sweden, which holds the EU presidency.
The rules compel enterprises in the 27-country bloc to seek a licence in order to issue, trade, and safeguard cryptoassets, tokenized assets, and stablecoins.
By making transactions easier to trace, ministers made steps to prevent tax evasion and the exploitation of cryptoasset transfers for money laundering.
They agreed on a requirement that service providers get the names of senders and beneficiaries of cryptoassets beginning in January 2026, regardless of the amount being moved.
There was also agreement on revising rules on how member countries collaborate in taxation to cover crypto-asset transactions, as well as exchanging information on advance tax judgements for the wealthiest persons.
Crypto businesses say they seek regulatory stability, increasing pressure on countries to adopt EU laws and regulators to develop global norms for cross-border activities.
Britain has proposed a staged approach, beginning with stablecoins and gradually expanding to unbacked cryptoassets, but there is no specific timeframe.
While deciding whether to adopt customised new laws and who would apply them, the United States has focused on using existing securities rules for enforcement action in the sector.
Hester Peirce, one of the CFTC’s commissioners, stated last week that a variety of federal and state authorities are attempting to determine what oversight role they can play in the crypto sector.
“We are wandering in the desert a bit,” Peirce told a conference.
(Adapted from Entrepreneur.com)
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