Cryptocurrency Tops EU Watchdog's 2018 Agenda

The Europe Union's top securities watchdog has said that cryptocurrencies will be one of its top priorities in 2018.

AccessTimeIconFeb 8, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:32 a.m. UTC

The European Union's top securities watchdog has indicated that cryptocurrencies will be one of its top priorities in 2018.

In its latest supervisory work agenda released on Feb. 7, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) outlined the five primary areas that the agency will focus on in the coming year.

One of the tasks for 2018 will be monitoring the development of financial innovation, which, as the agency specifically pointed out, includes cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

The authority states:

"ESMA expects the rapid pace of financial innovation developments across the EU securities markets to continue in 2018. These developments influence the way in which securities are developed, traded and supervised. In turn, ESMA is undertaking material analysis on the emergence of such instruments as virtual currencies, such platforms as ICOs and such tools as the distributed ledger technology."

Notably, this is the first time that the watchdog has included cryptocurrency into its supervisory agenda, signaling the increasing scrutiny the regulator is applying to the growth of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in the European region.

Just last month, the agency also announced that it is seeking public feedback on possible regulatory changes around cryptocurrency derivative contracts.

Elsewhere in the latest report, central banks of EU member states (collectively called the National Competence Authorities, or NCA) are also set to follow the ESMA's effort in 2018, focusing on questions about financial innovation in areas such as ICOs and cryptocurrencies.

EU flags image via Shutterstock


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Investing in the Future of the Digital Economy
October 18-19 | Spring Studio, NYC