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EU parliament backs first comprehensive rules for cryptocurrency

EU approves world first crypto exchange rules

The European Parliament unanimously supported the European Union’s first set of rules to regulate crypto asset markets on Thursday.

Parliament approved the world’s first complete set of legislation for producing and trading crypto assets such as bitcoin by a vote of 517 to 38.

“This regulation brings a competitive advantage for the EU,” said Stefan Berger, the lawmaker who steered the rules through parliament.

“The European crypto-asset industry has regulatory clarity that does not exist in countries like the U.S.,” Berger added.

EU member states have already approved the rules, which will go into effect in mid-2024 and require enterprises that produce and trade crypto assets to be licenced by a national authority, granting them a “passport” to serve consumers across the 27-member bloc.

Major service providers will be required to reveal their energy consumption.

“I hope that our rules could become a model for other countries,” said Mairead McGuinness, the EU’s financial services commissioner, during a debate on the rules on Wednesday.

Parliament also approved new laws for tracing crypto asset transfers such as bitcoins and electronic money tokens.

It follows the international “travel rule” already in use in traditional financial transactions, which means that information on the source and destination of the crypto asset must accompany and be stored on both sides of the transfer to aid in the fight against money laundering.

The tracking requirement applies to transactions over 1,000 euros from a private user’s “self-hosted” wallet or crypto address.

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