European Commission adopts digital finance package for crypto and blockchain

The European Commission is moving to provide more legal clarity and certainty for the cryptocurrency industry in its member states.

On Sept. 24, the EC officially adopted a new digital finance package including digital finance and retail payments strategies, as well as legislative proposals on crypto assets. 

The EC said that the new package represents the first time that the authority proposed new legislation on crypto assets.

As part of the new legislative proposals, the EC pays special attention to stablecoins — a type of cryptocurrency that pegs value to an external reference like the United States dollar or an algorithm. 

Specifically, the proposals aim to introduce more stringent requirements for stablecoin issuers in terms of capital, investor rights, and supervision, the text of the proposal reads.

Therein, the EC aims to require stablecoin issuers to complete authorization by a national competent authority if the outstanding amount of stablecoins is above 5 million euro ($5.8 million).

The authority also wants to oblige crypto asset issuers to publish a white paper with mandatory disclosure requirements. Small and medium-sized enterprises will be exempted from the publication of such a white paper where the total consideration of the offering of crypto assets is less than 1 million euro ($1.1 million) over a period of 12 months. 

The exclusion makes sure that “the requirements imposed on crypto-asset service providers are proportionate to the risks created by the services provided.” 

According to the authority, the new measures will be crucial in supporting the EU’s economic recovery as it will unlock new ways of channelling funding to Europe’s businesses. “By making rules safer and more digital friendly for consumers, the Commission aims to boost responsible innovation in the EU’s financial sector, especially for highly innovative digital start-ups,” the EC noted.

The package is now subject to consideration by the EC’s legislative counterparts, the European Parliament and the European Council.

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