Belgium Regulator Ponders Crypto as a Security

The EU’s landmark crypto law won’t take effect for a couple of years, but existing stock-trading rules may still apply, financial regulator FSMA says.

AccessTimeIconJul 6, 2022 at 12:44 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 6:18 p.m. UTC
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Crypto assets that are limited in number or tradable in expectation of profit may count as investment instruments that have to publish a prospectus for potential investors, the Belgian financial regulator has said in a consultation published Wednesday.

While the European Union is finalizing its landmark Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation (MiCA), issuers in the meantime need to know if cryptocurrencies are subject to existing securities laws, Belgium's Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) said.

“While awaiting a harmonized European approach, the FSMA wishes to provide clarity about when crypto-assets may be considered to be securities, investment instruments or financial instruments and may therefore fall within the scope of the prospectus legislation and/or the MiFID conduct of business rules,” said the regulator.

MiCA will oblige crypto issuers to issue a White Paper of information for investors. Until that takes effect – expected sometime in 2024 – regulators will use a bundle of illustrative characteristics to figure out if a cryptoasset falls under the existing prospectus law which applies to stocks and bonds, according to the report.

The EU’s Markets in Financial instruments Directive (MiFID) requires financiers to be clear and honest when approaching potential investors, and not to have conflicts of interest. Assets like bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) wouldn’t be subject to either prospectus or MiFID rules because they have no issuer, but are instead created by computer code, the document said.

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Jack Schickler

Jack Schickler was a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.


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