The European Parliament has made a big step when it comes to crypto regulation. The so-called MiCA regulations give the EU a uniform approach to crypto regulation. This means more checks, more requirements and possibly fewer opportunities for experimental start-ups, but also ensures that companies that have been approved in the Netherlands can more easily get started in other parts of Europe.
Dave Maasland, director of cybersecurity company ESET Netherlands, calls the extensive package of new regulations good news for the crypto market. He is particularly excited about the safety improvements it brings. “That’s what it’s all about, protecting consumers and ensuring a safe and fair trading environment.”
As an important change, he mentions that there will be rules on how platforms should arrange their cybersecurity and that they will be responsible for protecting their customers’ wallets. ‘But perhaps even more important: there will be liability. So if you lose money as an exchange due to a cyber attack or an ICT incident, you will be held responsible for it. That is an important development.’
Maasland calls the legislation a ‘product of our time’, referring to everything that has happened in the crypto world in recent years, such as the size of the FTX crypto exchange. ‘There are also other things, so more information about transactions is needed. And it is also included that much more should be reported on the environmental impact.’
The MiCa regulation will be especially beneficial for the major cryptocurrencies. For smaller, experimental crypto projects, the opportunities are limited, although Maasland does not think this immediately means the end for the so-called ‘shitcoins’. But this is an important step in that direction. Last year alone, $3.8 billion worth of cryptocurrency was stolen from platforms and exchanges. This legislation will not solve that in one go, but it is the start of a solution.’
Maasland believes that the legislation ensures that there is a sustainable future for crypto. “If we want this to move forward, it needs to be embraced by the masses. But you will have to build trust for that. What we have seen in recent years does not inspire confidence, so I think this lays the foundation for large-scale crypto adoption.”