A new report says the European Central Bank (ECB) is set to caution European Union (EU) members against pre-empting crypto rules being prepared for the Eurozone.
The Financial Times report says that the ECB is concerned about the chaos that would be occasioned by the introduction of varying and potentially clashing crypto regulations by different national regulators ahead of the EU-wide crypto rules becoming law in 2023.
Earlier this year, the EU parliament reached a provisional agreement on a regulatory framework for crypto assets known as Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA). The goal of MiCA is to “protect investors and preserve financial stability while allowing innovation and fostering the attractiveness of the crypto-asset sector.”
According to the Financial Times report, the ECB’s banking supervisory board chair Andrea Enria revealed to Members of the European Parliament last week that the central bank was aware of emerging “differences in national regimes around crypto.”
The report says that the apex Eurozone bank will push for harmonization during a meeting of the ECB’s supervisory board this week.
A national regulator in one of the EU member states reportedly believes that the ECB is in a “very challenging” situation.
“It’s very challenging. With Mica [the EU’s digital regulation package] 18 months away, are you better to say, ‘until it’s in, do what you like, there’s no regulation’ or are you better to try to get a handle on it?”
The Financial Times quotes a source familiar with discussions at one of the national regulators saying that there’s likely to be some conflict between the member countries and the ECB.
“There is clearly an issue of both harmonization and timing; the full application of Mica will take quite some time, so it is important to act soon.”
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