European Union Postpones MiCA Vote to April

The holdup comes because of issues in translating the text into 24 different languages.

AccessTimeIconJan 17, 2023 at 11:08 a.m. UTC
Updated Jan 17, 2023 at 9:19 p.m. UTC
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The European Union’s landmark crypto legislation, the Markets in Crypto Assets regulation, or MiCA, has been delayed until April because of issues in translating the rules into the 24 official languages in the EU.

"MiCA is tabled to be voted by the plenary in April and to my knowledge, the delay is technical, caused by translating issues," an official familiar with the matter said.

EU procedures require legal acts such as MiCA, which was negotiated in English, to be available in all the bloc's 24 official languages.

In November, the EU delayed the vote until February, and CoinDesk reported then that technical issues in the lengthy text could delay the start of the licensing regime, which was expected to go into effect in 2024.

EU officials said MiCA would have prevented the mismanagement at crypto exchange FTX, which collapsed in November. But the legislation, CoinDesk reported, has a major loophole in which companies such as FTX based outside the EU would be able to serve EU customers without extra regulation.

European legislators have agreed upon the law in principle, but the almost 400-page text needs to be formally signed off by both lawmakers and national governments that make up the EU's Governing Council. The law will apply to all member nations, but much of the implementation and interpretation will depend on regulators in each countries.

MiCA introduces the first-ever common licensing regime for crypto wallets and exchanges to operate across the EU to serve its population of 450 million, and it has a reserve requirement for stablecoin issuers. The law is seen as a standard setter that will influence crypto rulemaking across the world.

UPDATE (Jan. 17, 11:42 UTC): Adds additional details and background throughout.


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Amitoj Singh

Amitoj Singh is CoinDesk's regulatory reporter covering India. He holds BTC and ETH below CoinDesk's disclosure threshold of $1,000.

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