Belgian think tank calls for common crypto guidelines across EU, report says 22438 EU and cryptocurrencies
Rakesh Ranjan Parashar
Sep 6, 2018 at 1:17 AM

According to a report prepared for EU finance ministers, the European Union should adopt uniform guidelines on cryptocurrencies and their use across the member states. The authorities should keep a keen eye on its trading and distribution among investors.

These are some of the suggestions made by the Brussels-based economic think tank, Bruegel, which plans to present the report to EU finance ministers who are meeting in Vienna, Austria this Friday.

Document to impress EU finance ministers

The document, which has been accessed by Reuters, talks about cryptocurrencies and their implications on the European market. The report is said to have a special section devoted to the study of initial coin offerings (ICOs) and crypto exchanges, whose number is expected to shoot up in the EU this year.

The Bruegel document highlights the fact that the Hong Kong based Binance is planning to move its headquarters to Malta in wake of the extensive crackdown on cryptocurrencies across Asia.

While new EU rules on money laundering will eventually tighten screws on crypto exchanges, regulatory oversight is largely left to national authorities, claims the Belgian think tank.

The report goes on to add, “This fact might suggest that there is scope for regulatory arbitrage,” which the think tank notes might be tolerated in order to temporarily foster opportunities for all parties “to experiment and learn about the best approaches to this fast-developing technology.”

Need for more transparent rules for ICOs

Bruegel reportedly notes that being “virtual,” assets such as Bitcoin (BTC) pose intrinsic challenges to regulators on spot markets. Nonetheless, entities that oversee their production, exchange, and trading could be subject “to stricter disclosure rules,” according to Reuters’ understanding of the report.

The report also proposes a need for strict and more transparent rules for ICOs, which use ICOs to launch utility tokens-a business that is currently often unregulated. Only the smaller share of ICOs that are securities usually fall under EU financial regulations.

As reported earlier, EU authorities meet on Friday this week to discuss their concerns over the potential use of cryptocurrencies for illicit and unlawful activities, such as money laundering, terrorist funding, and tax evasion.

See Also: EU Lawmakers discuss ‘Standard’ on ICO regulations and Crowdfunding

EU finance ministers will meet on September 7 to discuss the future of cryptocurrencies

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