The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has revealed that it has set a €1.1m budget to monitor cryptocurrency and fintech businesses in 2019.
With ESMAs 2019 report published, the market regulator has outlined its particular focussed subjects for the coming year. The EU market regulators 2019 report details the authorities plan to monitor financial activities focussing on financial activities such as fintech and crypto-assets. The overall abstract of the report states that ESMA is looking to:
"Achieve a co-ordinated approach to the regulation and supervisory treatment of new or innovative financial activities and provide advice to present to the EU institutions, market participants or consumers."
The document explains how the agency, whilst open to technological advancements in the fintech sector, are still actively assessing risks when it comes to this new wave of digital assets. The regulatory frameworks set by the ESMA outline that they are to:
"...identifiy issues and/or risks connected to such activities and trends, and helps to co-ordinate NCAs initiatives on market monitoring and facilitating exchanges of best practices, including providing advice or making proposals of relevant actions where needed"
The decision has come after months of speculation about how the ESMA would begin their overall regulation of the ICO and crypto market. Whilst the Securities and Exchange Commission view almost all ICOs and cryptos as securities, the ESMA have been more relaxed; simply issuing warnings to retail investors before purchasing.
Addressing the European Parliament Economic Affair Committee, Steven Maijoor, Chair of the ESMA said:
"Some of these ICOs are like a financial instrument. Once it is a financial instrument it comes under a whole regulatory framework. The subsequent question is what do we do with those ICOs that are outside the regulatory world. We will assess that as a board. We expect to report by the end of the year."
What do you think about the news regarding ESMAs proposed crypto regulation?