EU Crypto Law MICA

The European Union today sealed the text of the Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation (MiCA), that has the stated objective of providing a unique set of clear rules for the entire EU in an industry riddled with controversy. A separate law was also agreed to that aims to identify anyone making crypto payments. 

Expected to be implemented in early 2024, MiCA will require companies offering crypto services to register with authorities, hold sufficient capital to support stablecoins and, similar to the standard set in traditional financial services, to offer clear and reasonable information to prospective investors. 

Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation

MiCA is a landmark legislation by introducing the first licensing regime for crypto wallets and exchanges to operate across EU member states. To date Malta is the only country to have issued a complete legislative framework for crypto operators back in 2018, whilst other countries have a range of more limited laws. 

New to the crypto industry is the imposition of reserve requirements on stablecoins that are aimed at preventing collapses of such tokens. In line with global efforts to battle money laundering, a separate law on transfers of crypto between two regulated digital wallet providers will require wallet providers to verify their customer’s identity, even for very small amounts. 

The Benefits of MICA

The main benefits of the law are to provide a greater degree of certainty and clarity to investors, a move that should be welcomed by genuine operators whose efforts to promote the uptake of crypto are hampered by numerous scams and a long list of failed coins. Companies providing crypto services will enjoy the transparency of a single framework under which they may carry out business across the bloc of some 500 million consumers. 

Malta offers the distinct advantage of having a legislative regime already in place and a regulator that has experience in vetting and approving crypto projects. Malta’s tax laws also provide the comfort of certainty and clarity on the tax treatment of crypto transactions in Malta.