The European Union (EU) has agreed on a legal framework for bitcoin and cryptocurrencies known as Markets in Crypto Asset Regulation (MiCA), per a report from CoinDesk.
The bill was signed off by members of the EU Council on Wednesday and consists of a regulatory framework previously established in June, which reportedly received no further development since then.
MiCA establishes licensing requirements for exchanges and wallet providers across the 27 member countries of the EU, including a need for checking user identity. Additionally, the legislation imposes capital requirements for the aforementioned service providers. The capital requirements are expected to prevent depegging events such as was seen with the downfall of the Terra ecosystem, as well as preventing other major liquidity issues.
While the full text of the legislation is currently sealed, the bill is expected to be covered by the EU’s official journal before it would go into effect in 2024.
The EU has also placed bitcoin and cryptocurrencies at the forefront of its agenda for the upcoming International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank annual meeting, per a Bloomberg report.
“We have a crowded agenda for the US next week, and one of the items that won’t be at the bottom of the list, it will be in there right around the top is crypto,” said Mairead McGuinness, EU commissioner for financial services.
With the looming implementation of MiCA, the EU will be the first attempt globally at creating a regulatory framework at this scale. However, regulators in the EU are awaiting the upcoming meeting to discuss regulation with the U.S., as the European regulators hold that it will take a global effort to truly establish a reliable framework.
“[Regulation], a little bit like climate change, addressing crypto alone in the EU is not enough, we need to have global engagement and sharing of experience, ” said McGuinness.