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    EBA and ESMA Issue Joint Response to EC Letter on Crypto-Assets

    August 20, 2019

    EBA and ESMA issued a joint response to the EC letter, from July 19, 2019, on crypto-assets. EBA and ESMA welcome the EC work in response to the issues identified in the January 2019 reports on crypto-assets and initial coin offerings. The analysis and advice set out in these reports represent a comprehensive assessment of applicability and suitability of the current EU law to crypto-assets, including stablecoins, and raise important issues regarding consumer and investor protection, market integrity, and competitiveness of the EU single market. For these reasons, EBA and ESMA agree that it is vital that further work progresses with urgency, with the aim of informing potential actions by the new Commission.

    At the international level, EBA and ESMA staff are engaging with FSB, BCBS, FATF and CPMI-IOSCO. This engagement is intended to help inform a common approach at the international level on matters such as the prudential treatment of bank exposures to crypto-assets and the regulatory treatment of crypto-asset exchanges and trading platforms. At the EU level, EBA and ESMA will shortly launch a new stocktaking exercise of national regimes applicable to crypto-assets. This stocktaking exercise will include a specific block of questions on the regulatory treatment of stablecoins, in light of their increasing prominence, and is being prepared in coordination with EC staff.   

    The topic of stablecoins will also be discussed at the upcoming European Forum for Innovation Facilitators (EFIF) event in September, along with a range of other financial technologies subject to consideration or testing in innovation facilitators. The discussions at EFIF level are intended to enhance competent authorities’ capacity to understand the underlying technologies and their application in the financial sector and promote a common regulatory and supervisory approach. In progressing all this work, EBA, ESMA, and EC staff are working closely together and the staff should continue to have regular dialog to ensure fully coordinated and consistent positions on issues such as stablecoins and other types of crypto-assets.


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    Keywords: Europe, EU, Banking, Securities, Crypto Assets, Initial Coin Offerings, Stablecoins, Fintech, EC, EBA, ESMA

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