EU study proposes default security status for crypto assets, legal recognition for DeFi
A European Parliament-commissioned study proposes all crypto assets be treated as securities by default and calls for decentralized finance (DeFi) organizations to receive legal status.
A recent study commissioned by lawmakers at the European Parliament proposes that all crypto assets should be treated as securities by default. The study also advocates for decentralized finance (DeFi) organizations to be recognized with legal status, a substantial development in the realm of crypto asset regulation.
The report was released as the European Union finalizes its Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation and debates whether further regulation will be required to encompass areas such as DeFi, staking, and NFTs.
According to the report, all crypto assets should be classified as a transferable security. This implies they would be subject to the stringent governance and authorization rules the EU enforces on traditional stocks and bonds, unless a national regulator specifies otherwise.
By shifting the responsibility of establishing technical facts and determining the extent of regulation from the regulators to the industry, this default rule proposed by the academic panel could be a game-changer.
However, the panel expressed skepticism about the immediate efficacy of MiCA, highlighting the challenges of enforcing its rules in a complex, cross-border context. It’s worth noting that the findings, while informative, don’t represent a formal position of the European Parliament.
The crypto industry has long grappled with uncertainty over the applicability of traditional financial securities rules to digital assets. The situation is mirrored in the U.S., where Securities and Exchange Commission Chief Gary Gensler has refrained from commenting on whether major cryptocurrencies such as ethereum (ETH) qualify as securities under his jurisdiction.
Following the enactment of MiCA on Wednesday, EU agencies overseeing banking and securities markets now face the task of detailing the rules necessary for its implementation.
Even prior to this, the European Systemic Risk Board, an EU panel assigned to monitor financial stability risks, recommended additional laws to cover what MiCA might overlook.
Interestingly, the study also called attention to the “Wild West” nature of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). Experts in the UK have been scrutinizing the legal status of DAOs, in a move which could indicate an upcoming wave of regulations aimed at taming a sector described by the report as rampant with “fraudsters and thieves.”
Despite these risks, the overall view indicates a push toward enhanced oversight and regulatory clarity in the ever-evolving crypto asset landscape.