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:
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
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.