EU commissioner reiterates need for ‘regulating all crypto-assets’

Mairead McGuinness, the commissioner for financial services, financial stability and capital markets union at the European Commission, is moving forward with discussion on regulating cryptocurrencies amid three major events in the space.

In written remarks for a speech in Brussels on Tuesday, McGuinness said the Celsius Network recently suspending withdrawals as well as the crash of Terra (LUNA) show the need for crypto asset regulation in the European Union. She added that ongoing concerns about crypto potentially being used to circumvent sanctions on Russia were also a factor.

“Regulating all crypto-assets – whether they’re unbacked crypto-assets or so-called ‘stablecoins’ – and crypto-asset service providers is necessary,” said McGuinness. “Sanctions implementation could be facilitated if our framework on crypto was in place, and if all crypto-asset service providers were regulated entities and subject to effective supervision in the European Union.”

The EU commissioner added that she planned to discuss a “political compromise” under the French government through the Markets in Crypto Assets, or MiCA, proposal currently being reviewed by the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Council:

“MiCA rules will be the right tool to address the concerns on consumer protection, market integrity and financial stability. This is something that is so urgent given recent developments.”

Under the MiCA draft proposal, all crypto firms providing services within the European Union would likely be subject to the same rules. The measure was initially delayed due to concerns about a potential ban on Proof-of-Work cryptocurrencies, but went out of committee in March.

Related: EU commissioner calls for global coordination on crypto regulation

In addition to its work on regulating digital assets within the EU, the commission will on Thursday close a consultation launched in April for financial services specialists to weigh in on the potential rollout of a central bank digital currency. McGuinness said in May the EU commission would “stand ready” to introduce legislation behind a digital euro.

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