French Regulatory Chairman Wants ESMA to Oversee Crypto within EU


Regulating cryptocurrencies have been a challenge all over the world. Robert Ophèle, Chairman of Autorité des Marchés Financiers, France’s top financial regulator, has recently proposed a plan for Europe to regulate this booming industry.

Addressing the 5th Annual Conference on FinTech and Regulation, Financiers talked about regulation issues related to crypto. Ophèle favored new approaches on the part of financial regulators to regulate crypto and find the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) to be the ideal for the role.

“ESMA should be the competent authority for this new field of regulation, including the supervision of crypto-asset service providers,” he said. “First, this would be the best way to guarantee a level playing field in the EU. Second, as this regulation is brand new, it is easier to provide ESMA with competence from the outset than if this is considered at a later stage.”

Crypto Regulation Should Be Centralized

Additionally, he pointed out the high cost of point of entry in crypto regulation and finds it suitable for a single body to have all the expertise in the nascent market.

Headquartered in Paris, ESMA oversees the pan European Union financial markets and drafts regulatory framework for the market.

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The body is already skeptical about crypto and issued a warning statement in 2018 against the risks of crypto investments.

“Again on the subject of the fields of competence allocated to ESMA, MiCA establishes specific rules for ‘stablecoins’ distinguishing between Asset-Referenced Tokens and E-Money Tokens. While it is natural that global E-Money Tokens, replicating a single currency, would be regulated by EBA,” Financiers added.

“For Asset-Referenced Tokens – very close to traditional financial instruments (UCITS shares / AIFM shares / possibly commodity-derivatives) – to be regulated by EBA is debatable.”

Currently, many individual EU countries are individually studying the crypto industry and imposing rules here and there. Late last year, France brought a harsh rule mandating all cryptocurrency providers to check and reveal the identity of cryptocurrency owners.

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