First Mover Americas: MiCA Legislation Gets the Final Go-Ahead From EU Ministers

The latest price moves in crypto markets in context for May 16, 2023.

AccessTimeIconMay 15, 2023 at 12:11 p.m. UTC
Updated May 16, 2023 at 12:11 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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Landmark new crypto rules were signed off on Tuesday by finance ministers of the European Union. The EU Council, which represents 27 member states, unanimously approved the Markets in Crypto Assets regulation (MiCA), making the bloc set to be the first major jurisdiction in the world with a crypto licensing regime. It also agreed to new anti-money laundering measures on crypto funds transfers. “I am very pleased that today we are delivering on our promise to start regulating the crypto-assets sector,” said Elisabeth Svantesson, minister of finance for Sweden. “Recent events have confirmed the urgent need for imposing rules which will better protect Europeans who have invested in these assets, and prevent the misuse of crypto industry for the purposes of money laundering and financing of terrorism."

Individual wallets holding at least one bitcoin set a milestone figure earlier this week, suggesting long-term sentiment for the tokens remains intact even as broader markets weigh down prices. Data from the on-chain analytics tool Glassnode show bitcoin wallets holding more than one token crossed the one million mark on Monday, up 20% since February 2022. Bitcoin wallets holding one token grew by 79,000 in the three months following November’s collapse of crypto exchange FTX and alongside tumbling bitcoin prices which hit multiyear lows below $16,000.

Weekly decentralized exchange (DEX) trading volume on Binance’s BNB Chain has reached its highest level in a year, according to data from DefiLlama. The week commencing May 7 saw DEX volume on BNB reach $5.11 billion, a level not seen since early May 2022, though volume did rise to just above $5 billion in the week following FTX’s November implosion. This comes as DEXs witness an uptick in popularity, perhaps as a result of U.S. regulators clamping down on centralized exchanges. In April, DEX Uniswap topped centralized exchange Coinbase in trading volume for the fourth consecutive month. Lower fees on the BNB Chain might mean users are more likely to trade there, said Katie Talati, head of research at Arca, explaining one of a number of possible reasons for the surge in volume.

Chart of the Day

  • The chart shows daily changes in bitcoin's realized price or the aggregate cost basis for the market and the realized price of short-term holders or wallets with coins younger than 155 days.
  • In the past, the short-term holder (STH) realized price was strong support during bull markets.
  • At press time, the STH realized price was $25,300.

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Edited by Stephen Alpher.


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Lyllah Ledesma

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

Omkar Godbole

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

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