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Crypto Assets Should Be Classified as Securities, Says European Parliament Study

Fredrik Vold
Last updated: | 1 min read
Source: AdobeStock / Sergey Kelin

A study commissioned by the European Parliament has proposed that all crypto assets should be treated as transferable securities by default.

To avoid being classified as a security, the study’s authors proposed that the intermediary behind a crypto asset can get an exemption from a national competent authority (NCA), meaning the relevant regulatory authority in an EU member state.

The study, published in May and written by researchers at universities in Europe and beyond, argued that such an approach is necessary due to the rapid pace of innovation in the crypto industry.

Despite the EU’s MiCA regulations being signed into law just this week, the researchers expressed doubt regarding the feasibility of developing a comprehensive regulatory framework for crypto definitions at the EU level within a reasonable timeframe and with acceptable costs.

Furthermore, the study proposed a shift in the burden of regulatory compliance from national regulators to the entities that offer or facilitate trading of crypto assets.

It argued that this would streamline the regulatory process and hold those directly involved in crypto transactions accountable.

In line with US practice

The proposal appears to be largely in line with the established practice in the US, where the major regulatory agencies have hinted that only Bitcoin should be treated as a commodity for regulatory purposes.

Among those in the US who have spoken out on the issue is Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler, who has argued that most crypto tokens – with the exception of Bitcoin – should be classified as securities.