EU’s McGuinness Urges Speedier Vote on Long-Delayed Crypto Laws

A final vote on MiCA and anti-money-laundering rules has been repeatedly pushed back, even though a deal was struck in June

AccessTimeIconDec 9, 2022 at 2:14 p.m. UTC
Updated Dec 9, 2022 at 5:54 p.m. UTC

European Union Commissioner Mairead McGuinness wants to speed up a vote on landmark crypto laws that has been repeatedly pushed back for procedural reasons, according to a Nov. 29 letter seen by CoinDesk.

The letter, which was given to CoinDesk in response to a freedom-of-information request, is the latest indication that the European Commission is getting antsy about delays to its landmark crypto-regulation bill, called markets in crypto assets, or MiCA, which it sees as more urgent now in the wake of the collapse of crypto exchange FTX.

“Recent events have highlighted once again the importance of having adequate regulation of crypto markets” to protect clients' assets and the wider economy, McGuinness, who is the EU's commissioner for financial services, said in the letter to Irene Tinagli, chairwoman of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, and Czech Finance Minister Zbyněk Stanjura, who is also chairman of the EU's Council of Economy and Finance Ministers.

“I would ask you to do your utmost to ensure a rapid vote and subsequent publication of the MiCA and TFR (transfer of funds) regulations,” McGuinness wrote. McGuinness she wants the rules to come into force at the latest in spring of next year. The TFR is a parallel law intended to counter money laundering and requires crypto companies to verify the identity of those making transfers.

A European Parliament vote on the legislation, originally scheduled for this month, has been pushed back to February because of concerns about the length and complexity of the text, which must be translated into 24 languages. CoinDesk understands it’s also possible the vote could be held in March, though the legislation was in principle agreed last June. It will take effect 12 to 18 months after being published in the bloc’s official journal.

The two regulations “set a clear signal to other jurisdictions worldwide,” McGuinness said, with countries such as the U.S. and U.K. contemplating their own crypto laws.

Officials have noted that MiCA would have stemmed alleged improprieties at FTX , because it includes rules against the misuse of customer funds, though some lawmakers appear to be skeptical about that.


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

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