EU may delicense crypto exchanges that break AML rules

Crypto assets regulation will punish breaches of money laundering and terrorism financing rules

A joint report published by the European Supervisory Authorities (ESA) has called for tough measures and punishments for cryptocurrency exchanges and companies that fail to adhere to the European Union’s regulation. 

Legislators are currently finalising the EU’s Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation (MiCA) legislation, which will provide a clearer legal and regulatory framework for the cryptoasset sector within the 27-member union.

After their its study, the European Banking Authority (EBA),  European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) said: “It is opportune that competent authorities granting authoritsation or registration to the non-bank entities… be empowered to withdraw the authorisation/registration for serious breaches of AML [Anti-money laundering] / CFT [Combating the Financing of Terrorism] rules.” 

It further called for MiCA to “appropriately integrate AML/CFT issues in prudential supervision of entities to be regulated and supervised under the regime that will be envisaged in that EU Regulation.” 

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The passage of MiCA into law has been a protracted process, with legislators and regulators faced the problem of improving investor protection and legal clarity without strangling a burgeoning sector. 

Last week, the European Central Bank published a report which warned about the increasing integration of cryptoassets with the wider financial environment and called for the immediate implementation of MiCA. 

It admitted, however, that the earliest date at which this could be achieved would be 2024.

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