The recently-concluded meeting for the ministers of the EU economic and financial affairs council (ECOFIN) on 7-8 September in Vienna, Austria, revealed interesting news for many crypto enthusiasts, including its mulling of ICO and crypto exchange regulation.
ICOs To Emerge As Viable Financing Option
In a press conference in Vienna, European Commission Vice President for the Euro and Social Dialogue Valdis Dombrovskis said that they’ve had a good exchange of opinion regarding crypto assets. He even went so far as to say that “crypto-assets are here to stay,” and that despite the recent turbulence, they have noticed that the market continues to grow.
He immediately discussed ICOs:
“In particular initial coin offerings, or ICOs, we see they have the potential to emerge as a viable form of alternate financing. Already last year, ICOs helped raise over 6 Billion dollars in funding and this year this figure will be substantially bigger.”
However, Dombrovskis maintained that they are still taking into consideration the risks associated with the activity, including lack of transparency, as well as issues with investment protection and market integrity, not to mention potential fraud, money laundering, and hacking.
“So we need to continue monitoring the developments in this area,” he said. “And we need to do so also in cooperation with our international partners at the Financial Stability Board or G20 level.”
Regulatory Mapping Of Cryptos
Dombrovskis also acknowledged that they are concerned with one particular challenge that comes with crypto assets, which is the very act of classifying them into their specific category. It is only the beginning of the continental organization’s woes, as coupled with it is the question of whether and how its existing financial rules apply to these, and if there’s a need to craft new EU rules.
The organization is already collaborating with European supervisory authorities (ESA) specifically on what they refer to as “regulatory mapping of crypto assets” to address the gray areas, and that they are expecting the said mapping to conclude before the year ends.
In conclusion, he revealed that they have already expanded the scope of the EU anti-terrorism financing and anti-money laundering legislation to crypto exchanges and custody wallet providers.
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