The European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) has passed the much-anticipated Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation (MiCA) legislative package, which aims to coordinate the EU's regulatory approach to the crypto industry.
After an earlier vote on Monday, the legislation does not include language about a proposed ban on proof-of-work mining, which was framed as a "de facto Bitcoin ban."
The legislation passed an ECON vote with a 31-23 majority, with four individuals abstaining.
One of the top priorities of the legislation is "ensuring that the EU financial services regulatory framework is innovation-friendly and does not pose obstacles to the application of new technologies,” according to the MiCA package text. The package also takes aim at four “general and related objectives,” including achieving legal certainty for the industry.
“For crypto-asset markets to develop within the EU, there is a need for a sound legal framework, clearly defining the regulatory treatment of all crypto-asset that are not covered by existing financial services legislation,” the legislation says. In addition, MiCA aims to “support innovation”; “instill appropriate levels of consumer protection and market integrity"; and “ensure financial stability.”
The final point about financial stability is also tied to the stablecoin market. MiCA’s authors do not believe the crypto market poses a threat to financial stability today, but they believe this could soon change due to stablecoins: “This may change with the advent of ‘global stablecoins,’ which seek wider adoption by incorporating features aimed at stabilizing their value by exploiting the network effects from the firms promoting these assets."
In some ways, the MiCA legislative package reads like President Biden's recent crypto executive order in the U.S.: A call to action for various regulators and agencies to come together on a plan for regulating crypto and protecting consumers.
This is a developing story, check back for updates.