Europe is on the cusp of making major steps forward in harmonizing the legal, regulatory and policy frameworks of the European Union member states on crypto assets. On September 24, 2020, the European Commission published a proposal for a “Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on Markets in Crypto-Assets”, commonly referred to as the MiCA proposal.
This proposal is part of the Digital Finance package, which is a holistic package of measures to further enable and support the potential of digital finance in terms of innovation and competition while mitigating the risks. In addition to the MiCA proposal, the Digital Finance package also includes a proposal for a pilot regime on distributed ledger technology (DLT) market infrastructures, a proposal for digital operational resilience and a proposal to clarify or amend certain related EU financial services rules.
Europe’s strategy prioritizes ensuring that the EU financial services regulatory framework is innovation-friendly and does not pose obstacles to the application of new technologies. The MiCA proposal, together with the proposal on a DLT pilot regime, represents the first concrete action within this area.
Given the rising interest in crypto-assets and their underlying technology (blockchain or Distributed Ledger Technology, DLT), the European Blockchain Observatory and Forum has undertaken a study on capturing the current state of technological, market and regulatory developments in each of the 27 EU member states, plus the United Kingdom and Switzerland. The study is topical as different countries present different states of development in blockchain and crypto-assets on several dimensions:
- Regulation and policy: several countries have recently legislated or issued guidance, thus leading to market fragmentation.
- Business activity: as a result of different regulatory treatment, entrepreneurial and investment activity is unevenly concentrated among countries, thus leading to emerging clusters.
To support Europe’s efforts to develop a harmonized framework across the EU member states, it is therefore important to study the current level of regulatory and market maturity in each of them. This report aims to do that, by providing short country-level ‘factsheets’ summarizing the state of affairs in each country.
About the Report
This is the first thematic report prepared by the new team leading the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum, aiming to present the latest updates and developments within the EU blockchain ecosystem.
This is the first of a series of reports that will be published addressing selected topics in accordance with the European Commission priorities. The aim is to reflect on the latest trends and developments and discuss the future of blockchain in Europe and globally.
Credits: EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum.