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European Union Introduces MiCA Laws to Regulate Opaque Crypto Firms

19 October, 2023

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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) warned opaque and complex crypto firms to disclose their business shareholders’ details. They stated that the EU doesn’t want shell companies to operate from overseas in the member states. It also stressed companies can’t work in the EU with affected landmark Markets in the Crypto Asset (MiCA). ESMA urges major global crypto firms to start preparation for the strict regulation and be ready to comply with MiCA. Furthermore, the national regulators are also designing procedures that will promptly allow crypto exchanges and wallet platforms to get registered. Companies that are not compliant with MiCA rules and regulations can be fined or prosecuted for non-compliance. The EU regulations will also provide greater fraud protection by ensuring that crypto asset service providers are held accountable for their actions.

MiCA license rules will be implemented in December 2024, but the companies can operate till July 2026, until they get full license registration from the authority. This can be accepted when the crypto firms are registered under existing business verification regulations and comply with the national AML measures. 

It is also concerning for the ESMA officials that the temporary regulation changes will confuse the customers. MiCA is the most suitable regulatory body for preventing crypto firms from exploiting compliance audits. ESMA stated, “Opaque group structures may also render it difficult for clients of service providers to know which entity they are dealing with and its regulatory status may lack a strong compliance culture and their large scale and geographic scope allow them to maintain a high level of agility in terms of where they can operate, increasing the risk of conflicts of interest, regulatory arbitrage, and an unlevel playing field.” 

The MiCA will establish uniform regulations for the whole crypto platform and allow businesses to operate under a single license. However, it also gives national regulators considerable discretion over temporary measures and the definition of exceptions for decentralized networks. This will also enhance the European Union’s security and prevent threats from other members of states to undercut the obligations to boost their rivalry. 

Nevertheless, final MiCA rules are not issued by the regulatory department therefore, the crypto firms can not apply for a license yet. However, ESMA is ready to publish in journals to inform the regulators and clients about their new rigid regulations and also urge regulators for collaboration to finalize the crypto verification procedure as a matter of urgency. ESMA also stated to National Authorities, “establish authorization procedures and foster dialogue with potential applicants as soon as possible.” They also added a formal screening process for the companies before accepting license applications. Companies that pass the scrutiny will be eligible for the crypto license. 

Suggested Reads:

UK Law Society Ensures Solicitors Complying With AML Measures

US Charges Chinese Companies to Leverage Crypto For Illicit Activities 

Deutsche Bank Pledges Taking Convenient Steps to Rebuild Trust on Postbank’s Services

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