The European Parliament is poised to approve new crypto licensing laws in the coming days. A document published on Wednesday suggests that only one expected amendment has been tabled to the law ahead of a final vote. An anonymous official briefed on internal talks told CoinDesk that a planned vote would likely be pushed back one day, with a debate scheduled for Wednesday, April 19 and a vote on Thursday. The official requested anonymity as no final decision has been made.
Last year, lawmakers and European Union member states agreed on an outline of the law, known as the Markets in Crypto Assets regulation (MiCA). The regulation requires providers of crypto services, such as wallets and exchanges, to seek a license from national regulators. In addition, the Transfer of Funds regulation obliges identity checks on those making crypto payments. After months of drafting and translation, the deadline for proposing further changes to the MiCA text has now expired. Documents published by the parliament imply that the agreed changes are the only ones that will be put up for discussion. The law has previously received strong support, indicating that it is likely to pass.
The introduction of MiCA is part of a wider push by regulators to bring crypto assets in line with existing financial regulations. The regulation will provide clarity for the industry and help to prevent money laundering and other illicit activities. However, critics argue that the law could stifle innovation and harm smaller crypto businesses that are unable to afford the cost of compliance.
The licensing requirements under MiCA will apply to a wide range of crypto-related activities, including the issuance of tokens, custody services, and trading platforms. Providers will be required to maintain adequate capital reserves and implement robust risk management procedures. In addition, they will be subject to ongoing supervision and monitoring by national regulators.
The push to regulate the crypto industry has gained momentum in recent years as the market has grown in size and complexity. In the absence of clear regulatory frameworks, many crypto businesses have operated in a legal grey area, leading to concerns about consumer protection and financial stability. The introduction of MiCA is seen as a significant step towards bringing the industry into the mainstream.
The final vote on MiCA is eagerly awaited by the crypto industry, which has been calling for greater regulatory clarity for years. If the law is passed, it will provide a much-needed framework for the industry to operate within, helping to foster innovation and growth while protecting consumers from fraud and other risks.