ESMA: Crypto-Assets Need Clear Regulatory Framework

3rd Annual FinTech Conference – FinTech and Regulation 26 February 2019 – Brussels

Keynote speech by Steven Maijoor, Chair

Ladies and gentlemen, Good afternoon, and it’s great to be back for this year’s event. Thank you to the organisers for inviting me to give this speech today.

I will offer some thoughts about crypto-assets, a topic whose importance is reflected in the conference agenda. Crypto-assets and the underlying Distributed Ledger Technology, or DLT, command our attention because they are at the frontier of innovation. They therefore pose a challenge to firms, who seek to turn the promise of the frontier technology into workable business models. Likewise, crypto-assets and DLT pose a challenge to regulators, because they are partly in uncharted territory. We need to ensure our rules are clear and fit for purpose.

We have seen many interesting projects relating to DLT in financial markets. But increasingly, commentators and analysts are saying that it is time for firms to deliver on the technology’s early promise. For regulators such as ESMA, our task is to ensure that this happens in a clear regulatory framework that supports our objectives of investor protection and orderly markets.

Crypto-assets tend to attract media hype. This can heighten risks for investors, and also complicates the work of regulators. Despite the hype, we have to remain objective, with an open mind but a critical eye.

The rest of the speech can be read here 

Source: ESMA

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