European lawmakers just approved a duo of new rules that will give the member countries of the European Union (EU) a uniform legal framework for governing the digital assets market.
On Thursday, the members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted 529-29 with 14 abstentions in favor of a law for tracing transfers of Bitcoin (BTC) and other crypto assets.
The legislation, which seeks to ensure that crypto transfers can always be traced and the suspicious ones blocked, covers transactions worth above €1000 between self-hosted wallets of private users and wallets managed by crypto asset service providers.
Legislators also voted 517-38 with 18 abstentions to pass the Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation (MiCA), which provides rules covering the supervision, consumer protection and environmental safeguards of crypto assets. The law also includes measures against other financial crimes including market manipulation, money laundering and terrorist financing.
Says Stefan Berger, lead MEP for the MiCA regulation,
“This regulation brings a competitive advantage for the EU. The European crypto-asset industry has regulatory clarity that does not exist in countries like the US.”
The European parliament says the rules still need to be formally endorsed by the Council of the European Union and published in the EU Official Journal before they can take effect.
“The texts will now have to be formally endorsed by Council, before publication in the EU Official Journal. They will enter into force 20 days later.
In adopting this legislation, Parliament is responding to citizens’ expectations to set safeguards and standards for the use of blockchain technology.”
European Commissioner for financial services Mairead McGuinness says the new regulations will apply by next year.
“I welcome the European Parliament’s vote today to approve comprehensive EU rules on crypto: a world first. The rules will start applying from next year. We’re protecting consumers and safeguarding financial stability and market integrity.”
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