The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s financial markets regulator, has initiated its first consultation package under the Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA). The authority is seeking stakeholder comments until September 20, 2023, marking a significant step towards establishing concrete rules for crypto markets in the EU.
In this initial consultation package, ESMA is soliciting input on proposed rules for crypto-asset service providers (CASPs). The focus areas include CASP authorisation, identification, conflict of interest management, and complaint handling procedures.
The consultation also aims to collect insights on stakeholders’ current and future activities. This fact-finding exercise will help ESMA better comprehend the EU crypto-asset markets and their potential evolution. The data collected will remain confidential and will be used to fine-tune proposals in the upcoming second and third consultation packages.
Verena Ross, Chair of ESMA, emphasized the importance of this consultation package in implementing the MiCA framework. Ross stated that the initiative translates ESMA’s ambition to establish high regulatory standards for crypto-asset related activities in the EU into tangible requirements.
Ross also highlighted that ESMA is determined to ensure that entities involved in crypto-asset related activities understand that the EU is not a place for forum-shopping. She further reminded consumers that even with the implementation of MiCA, no crypto-asset can be deemed entirely safe.
ESMA will continue working on its remaining mandates alongside this consultation, with plans to publish a second consultation package in October 2023. The feedback received from this consultation will be considered for a final report, and the draft technical standards will be submitted to the European Commission for endorsement by June 30, 2024, at the latest.