EU Securities Watchdog: New DLT Regulations Would Be 'Premature'

The European Union's top securities regulator is steering clear of blockchain regulations – for now, at least.

AccessTimeIconFeb 7, 2017 at 3:20 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 1:04 p.m. UTC

Europe's chief securities regulator said today that new regulations for blockchain would be "premature" at this stage.

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a new report this morning, outlining the results of its year-and-a-half-long research process into the tech. The agency first began soliciting comments about possible new rules in April 2015, releasing its preliminary research outcomes in June.

While leaving the door open to future regulations – pending broader adoption by the market it regulates – ESMA said that, for now, it’s sticking with a hands-off approach to the tech.

The agency said in a statement:

"At this stage, ESMA believes that it is premature to fully appreciate the changes that the technology could bring and the regulatory response that may be needed, given that the technology is still evolving and practical applications are limited both in number and scope."

In the meantime, the agency called on securities industry stakeholders to develop solutions around interoperability and standards. Further, ESMA indicated that, in the future, it may move to develop a regulatory framework.

"ESMA will continue to monitor market developments around DLT to assess whether a regulatory response may be needed," it said.

Notably, the statement bears strong similarities to comments issued by Patrick Armstrong, a senior risk analysis officer for the watchdog, late last month during an event in Norway.

"We believe it is premature to appreciate all the technological changes and the potential regulatory response that may be needed, as the technology is still in its infancy," Armstrong said at the time.

The full ESMA report can be found below:

Image via Shutterstock

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