From the latest news coming from the European Union I am noticing that lately Europe is looking with interest at the opportunities related to blockchain, DLT and cryptocurrencies, without underestimating the risks associated with an unaware or malevolent use of these technologies, especially when they affect financial sector. For this reason the responsible continental authority is evaluating whether to intervene in order to regulate the ICO (Initial Coin Offering) as it already happens with other more traditional investment instruments.
Europe and the ICOs
The approach adopted by the European Securities and Markets Authority is aimed at assessing each individual situation, case by case, in order to determine whether transactions can be subject to legislation already in force or whether a new code needs to be defined.
The news comes just a few days after the allocation of a 1.1 million euro fund whose objective will be to support the monitoring of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum and other activities related to a constantly evolving universe such as FinTech.
The goal of the authority is to promote a community, shared and collective approach of all member states to the resolution of the problem, also in the name of the much-looted Digital Single Market. The EBA (European Banking Authority) has already pronounced several times on the subject, appealing to the sense of responsibility of the protagonists of the sector, in order to avert risks for investors and for the entities involved in the ICO.
It is therefore likely that Europe will choose to follow the path already traced overseas by the Securities and Exchange Commission, going to regulate the activity. In doing so, the EU will have taken steps to give legal solidity to an activity that, although naturally spinning, requires fixed points set by banks and authorities to be able to scale to a new dimension.
We can only draw conclusions from a statement made by Steven Maijoor:
Some of these ICOs are like a financial instrument. Once recognized as such, they are subjected to a regulatory system. The question that follows is what to do with ICOs that are outside of this area. We will evaluate them. We believe we can speak about this by the end of the year.
We hope these conclusions will arrive soon!
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