The European Council Moves in to Regulate Crypto Businesses

Published May 24, 2023 by Ivan P

The European Council Moves in to Regulate Crypto Businesses

The new regulation will set much stricter standards for all crypto businesses and it is expected to have a profound effect on the iGaming industry.

The European Council has passed a landmark decision to regulate the crypto market. Named the Markets in Crypto Assets regulation, or MiCA for short, this is the first wide-encompassing law that deals with crypto assets and seeks to establish a proper regulatory framework.

The regulation has been several years in the making. The MiCA was initially proposed in September 2020 as a part of a larger regulatory package that aimed to develop an approach that fosters development and ensures consumer protection and financial stability.

Significant Impact on the Gaming Sector

According to the directions from the European Council, national authorities will have three months to develop a regulatory framework for all cryptocurrency-related businesses. One of the rules is that governments must regularly transmit information from the largest organizations in this space to the ESMA, European Securities and Markets Authority.

The MiCA could greatly impact iGaming businesses in Europe, and crypto casinos are likely to be the most affected. European leaders seem to agree that it is high time for the cryptocurrency sector to become much better regulated to protect consumers and prevent all sorts of misuse connected to these assets.

Higher Degrees of Control and Oversight

While the MiCA doesn't specifically address the issue of money laundering (so as not to conflict with recently-issued AML guidelines), new rules will introduce much higher degrees of control and oversight to the industry. The European Banking Authority (EBA) will be required to maintain the record of all crypto businesses that do not comply with the MICA, and there will be improved checks involving companies in countries considered at high risk for money laundering.

Commenting on these developments, Swedish finance minister Elisabeth Svantesson said she was pleased that the EU was starting to deliver on its promise to start regulating the crypto sector and expressed her conviction that the new rules will help prevent the misuse of crypto assets for all sorts of nefarious activities, such as financing terrorism and money laundering.

Bruno Le Mair, French minister for the economy, finance, and industrial and digital sovereignty, shares this stance. He is convinced the new regulation "will put an end to the crypto wild west," establishing the EU as an authority for setting standards in the crypto space.

It remains to be seen how national governments will implement the MiCA and what these rules will mean for crypto businesses, especially in the iGaming sector, but it is clear there are some significant changes ahead.

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