What’s next for Crypto-Assets in Europe and beyond?
EUCI convenes key EU and international stakeholders as it celebrates its first anniversary in Brussels
BRUSSELS, December 8, 2022 – Today, the European Crypto Initiative (EUCI), regrouping experts in blockchain technology within the EU, holds its first-anniversary conference to discuss the future of crypto-assets in a context of fast economic and regulatory evolution.
A CRITICAL TIME FOR NEW TECHNOLOGIES AND FINANCIAL MARKETS
Following recent market developments, European and international regulators are increasingly looking at ways to effectively regulate the usage and impact of new technologies, including Blockchain, on financial markets.
EUCI’s Executive Director, Marina Markežič, stresses that “regulatory action and ensuring a level playing field present key benefits in the crypto space.” She adds that “such principles and rules should be applied in a well-informed and proportionate manner taking into consideration the nuances of this highly innovative sector – one which can bring true value to the EU and its citizens, as well as the global digital economy.”
EUCI believes there should be a clear differentiation between the treatment of centralised finance (CeFi) and decentralised finance (DeFi). Recent market developments in the crypto industry have shown that many shortcomings are not intrinsically linked to crypto or decentralisation but rather to recurring problems seen in traditional financial services actors and the activities they carry out.
“We are aware of our responsibility towards the regulators and the community alike to facilitate a constructive dialogue between all the participants at our event, especially as it’s happening amid such tumultuous times. We take this very seriously and have worked to attract speakers with diverse viewpoints. Frankly, the industry will greatly benefit from an open discussion at this moment – one that will help better perceive the nuances in how it operates,” added Florian Glatz, EUCI’s co-founder.
WHAT ARE THE KEY CHALLENGES FOR THE FUTURE OF CRYPTO-ASSETS?
Today’s conference will convene leading global voices from the sector, institutions and regulators, including Tuang Lee Lim (Monetary Authority of Singapore), Member of the European Parliament Ondřej Kovařík, Claudia Guagliano (ESMA) Jason Mahoney (CFTC), Rok Žvelc (European Commission), Pablo Veyrat (Angle Protocol) and Aleš Butala (Bitstamp).
“We are really pleased to celebrate this first anniversary with such a prestigious and expert line-up; we expect very insightful discussions touching on some of the issues central to the industry as well as to our own mission here at EUCI,” says Simon Polrot, President and Co-Founder of EUCI.
The new regulatory paradigm for crypto markets: While the EU’s ongoing efforts through the recently agreed upon Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) and Transfer of Funds Regulation (TFR), as well as the AML review package, are a positive step towards effectively regulating the technological developments around financial markets, EUCI believes there is a need for dialogue and tailored-made regulatory solutions in certain areas, including decentralised use-cases.
The future of digital money: EUCI believes that regulated private stablecoin arrangements are compatible with CBDC solutions such as the ECB’s digital euro. It is important to ensure that there is a level playing field between the two, particularly given stablecoins will continue to be widely used until at least the time the digital euro is fully operational in 2027. Failure to facilitate tokenised payment solutions for the Internet of Things could set Europe on its back foot compared to other jurisdictions.
Going green? EUCI strongly supports the role that the crypto ecosystem can play in accompanying the climate transition and notes the technological changes in the sector (e.g. Ethereum’s switch from “proof-of-work” to “proof-of-stake”) or the emergence of projects which leverage Blockchain technology to achieve these ambitious sustainability goals.
The view from outside the EU: It is necessary to develop an internationally consistent framework for crypto markets and avoid as much as possible regulatory fragmentation. This includes coming up with internally agreed standards on key crypto issues, such as stablecoins, DeFi and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).