According to the latest agenda published on the website of the European Union’s parliament, the much-awaited discussion on crypto legislation finally has a date. The EU’s Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) has been listed for a discussion in the parliament on April 18.
The lawmaker’s discussion on the regulation will be heralding final formal agreement of the landmark law that brings in a crypto licensing regime across the bloc. The law’s political outlines were finalized around nine months ago but since then there have been multiple delays in definitively agreeing on a legal text, which must be translated into the EU’s 24 official languages.
As Todayq News reported, MiCA discussions and vote were on the table for February and were stalled until April later. Under normal parliamentary procedures the final vote on MiCA will take place on April 19 i.e. the following day. In October, lawmakers on the parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECMA) voted 28-1 in favor of the MiCA legislation and national diplomats have also endorsed the plan.
The legislation offers crypto companies such as wallets and exchanges a license for operating across the region. However, it also mandates these entities to strictly abide by the standards and prescribed procedures for meeting governance and consumer protection norms, and also introduces reserve requirements for stablecoins.
Reportedly, the lawmakers have identified four primary objectives behind MiCA- protecting investors, promoting innovation, regulating the sector, and ensuring financial stability. If approved, MiCA will be published in the EU’s official journal and take effect between one and three years later.
Additionally, the debate will be followed by discussions on a further law known as the transfer of funds regulation (TFR), which controversially requires crypto providers to verify customers’ identity and which was also provisionally agreed back in June. The TFR is a similar law that aims to counter money laundering and calls for the verification of the identities of the beneficiaries by the crypto companies involved in making the transfers.
Some lawmakers including Mairead McGuinness, commissioner of financial services of the E.U. had urged the commission to speed up a vote on crypto laws in December. Following the collapse of FTX along with several other firms in 2022, the lawmaker had expressed her opinions on having sufficient regulation of the crypto sector for client and investors’ protection and, in turn, the broader economy.
While the world has set its eye on Europe to see the turn out of its MiCA, recently, Laura van Geest, Chairman of the AFM, opined that the Netherlands will take a tough line enforcing MiCA. She also said that cryptocurrency wasn’t good news, linking it to fraud, manipulation, and speculation and the MiCA will only partly address its risks.