First Mover Americas: Landmark Crypto Laws Pass in Europe

The latest price moves in crypto markets in context for April 20, 2023.

AccessTimeIconApr 20, 2023 at 12:31 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 20, 2023 at 3:03 p.m. UTC

This article originally appeared in First Mover, CoinDesk’s daily newsletter putting the latest moves in crypto markets in context. Subscribe to get it in your inbox every day.

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Lawmakers in the European Union on Thursday voted 517-38 in favor of a new crypto licensing regime, Markets in Crypto Assets, which is popularly known as MiCA, with 18 abstentions, making the EU the first major jurisdiction in the world to introduce a comprehensive crypto law. The European Parliament also voted 529-29 in favor of a separate law known as the Transfer of Funds regulation, which requires crypto operators to identify their customers in a bid to halt money laundering, with 14 abstentions. The votes follow a Wednesday debate in which lawmakers largely supported plans to make crypto wallet providers and exchanges seek a license to operate across the bloc of 27 nations and require stablecoin issuers to maintain sufficient reserves.

Bitcoin fell for a second straight day on Thursday, dropping to $28,500, a 10-day low. The world’s largest cryptocurrency declined 2% over the past 24 hours as traders across the globe moved away from risky assets. Bitcoin closed below its 20-day moving average on Wednesday, according to data from TradingView, a sign of weakness. The cryptocurrency has rallied this year, but Craig Erlam, an analyst at foreign-exchange trading firm Oanda, said in a morning note that the recovery may be running on fumes. Popular meme token, dogecoin (DOGE), was one of the few coins trading in the green Thursday, up 5% over the past 24 hours. Some supporters refer to April 20 as "DogeDay."

The substantive parts of the Voyager Digital-Binance.US sale deal could be allowed to proceed even before a legal appeal is worked through, court filings made Wednesday suggest, as concerns rise that the buyer could pull out. The document says the U.S. government has now agreed that the bulk of Binance.US' $1 billion deal to purchase assets of the bankrupt crypto lender can proceed, despite concerns that the fine print of the contract would pardon breaches of tax or securities law. The filing proposes that, until an appeal is settled, those contentious “exculpation provisions” should remain on hold, but not the remaining elements of the deal.

Chart of the Day

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  • The chart shows the on-chain movement of bitcoin that's been sitting dormant for between seven and 10 years.
  • More than 5,000 bitcoins, worth $144 million, were moved early Thursday.
  • Whenever such old coins move, bitcoin tends to see increased price turbulence.

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Edited by Mark Nacinovich.


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Lyllah Ledesma is a CoinDesk Markets reporter currently based in Europe. She holds bitcoin, ether and small amounts of other crypto assets.

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Omkar Godbole is a Co-Managing Editor on CoinDesk's Markets team.

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