EU signs new rules for crypto licensing and money laundering

The European Union has officially signed its landmark Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation into law on Wednesday. This move brings the bloc closer to being the first major jurisdiction in the world with tailored rules for the crypto industry. The law was signed by the European Parliament President Roberta Metsola and Swedish Rural Affairs Minister Peter Kullgren, alongside a separate anti-money laundering law that requires crypto providers to verify their customers’ identity when they transfer funds. The Swedish government, which is chairing legislative talks as it holds the EU presidency, announced the news on Twitter. A parliament spokesperson confirmed that the laws in question include MiCA and the transfer of funds rules, as well as two unrelated regulations on trade with Ukraine.

MiCA will become effective a few weeks after being published in the EU’s official journal, likely in June. Its provisions include offering crypto exchanges and wallet providers a license to operate across the 27-nation bloc, and requiring stablecoin issuers to hold appropriate reserves. The provisions will take effect between 12 and 18 months later. MiCA was first proposed by the European Commission in 2020, and was controversial when lawmakers came close to inserting environmentally minded provisions that could have amounted to a ban on the proof-of-work technology used by Bitcoin. Although the provisions were broadly welcomed by the industry, attention has turned to the next stage of EU crypto regulation, with future laws potentially covering topics such as staking, non-fungible tokens, and decentralized finance.

Read more: EU Crypto Industry Applauds MiCA – But Looks to What’s Next

Edited by Sheldon Reback.