Monday, September 25

Economy will accelerate the regulation of crypto assets in the new market law

Crypto assets, with bitcoin and other digital currencies at the forefront, have become a problem for supervisors such as the Bank of Spain and the CNMV. The European regulation on the subject (MiCA) will be approved, except for surprise, in the first half of 2022, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs wants it to be applied as soon as possible. Thus, it will introduce all the necessary elements in the reform of the Spanish market law; the goal is for this to also receive the green light next year.

The wait for the European regulation of crypto assets, MiCA (acronym for markets in crypto-assets) is getting long since the first draft was published, back in September of last year. Several European countries, such as France, Germany and Luxembourg, have taken the lead and are creating rules of their own to get ahead of Brussels.

But Spain is also moving with the aim that this new market has, in the shortest possible time, a regulatory framework that allows the development of the industry and the due protection of users –read, investors in most cases– of crypto assets. . Sources familiar with the intentions of the ministry led by the first vice president of the Government, Nadia Calviño, point out that the reform of the Securities Market Law, subject to public consultation until last May and now in the reporting phase, will leave the entire regulatory scheme Spanish prepared so that the European regulation can be applied without any delay.

The purpose is that the community standard is approved in the first half of next year, although its full application will last until 2024, as published by CincoDías on December 20. From Economic Affairs, from the Bank of Spain, from the CNMV and from the Spanish cryptoactive sector they want the terms to be shortened as much as possible. And that is being worked on.

The European standard, being a regulation instead of a directive, will be of direct application, but some matters have to be adapted to national legislation, such as the sanctioning and supervision regime, among others. From the outset, these questions will be those that will be included in the final text of the reform of the Securities Market Law that, before starting the legislative process, must go through the Council of State.

maximum speed

It is intended that the application of MiCA will be extremely fast, since the last detail can be done through royal decrees, without having to tweak the Securities Market Law. Legal sources indicate that, ultimately, the door is opened for the European crypto regulations to be implemented before the rest of the Club countries.

The first draft of the regulation provided for a period of 18 months from the entry into force –usually a few weeks after its publication– for its effective application. The last one extends it up to 24 months, because an avalanche of technical standards will be necessary. It will be up to each country to decide whether to anticipate the implementation of certain points of the European regulations.

In the coming weeks, the CNMV circular will be published, thanks to which it will have prior control, except for significant changes in the content of this rule, over advertising campaigns that are considered massive. The supervisor must be informed of all of them at least 15 days in advance.

The managers and BME will have an advantage

  • Beyond banking. The latest draft of the MiCA regulation expands the ability to offer crypto assets beyond banks and broker-dealers. The text also includes investment fund managers, market operators, such as BME in Spain, and electronic money institutions. “The previous version of MiCA only recognized credit institutions and investment services companies (ESI) the possibility of providing services on crypto assets with a mere notification to the competent authority,” says Gloria Hernández Aler, partner of the firm finReg 360º.
  • Notification only. According to the new text, just by notifying it, the managers will be able to provide advisory services, portfolio management and reception of crypto assets. Electronic money institutions may safeguard them on behalf of third parties, and market operators, such as BME, may provide the service of operating a multilateral crypto-asset trading system.