Under the most recent guidelines from the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the first fully compliant cryptocurrency exchange is now open for registration in Liechtenstein.
ESMA’s new framework MiFID II/MiFIR was introduced in January 2018 to offer consumers an extra level of protection. The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (2004/39/EC) has been applicable across the European Union since November 2007.
It is a cornerstone of the EU’s regulation of financial markets seeking to improve their competitiveness by creating a single market for investment services and activities and to ensure a high degree of harmonised protection for investors in financial instruments. The new updated legislation (MiFID II) was introduced to further strengthen investor protection and improve the functioning of financial markets, making them more efficient, resilient and transparent.
Liechtenstein-based Blocktrade.com cryptocurrency exchange opens in full compliance with these new European regulations, the beta version reported to be the first of its kind.
The exchange promises to trade in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ripple, offering users feedback rewards via the platform’s “Need Help” widget and a “Beta Feedback” option. Users sending in feedback stand to win an iWatch as part of the prize draw.
Blocktrade.com’s CEO, Luka Gubo feels that the platform adhering to the new EU guidelines will give greater credibility to cryptocurrency use in general. He said:
“This is an ideal way for regulators across Europe to recognize cryptocurrencies as a new asset class and put in a regulatory framework.”
It is commonly felt in the industry now that sensible and clear regulation will impact on the crypto ecosystem as a whole, and this is reflected in the global move towards regulation.
Liechtenstein’s prime minister recently stated he wanted his country to be at the forefront of the digital age, suppressing any burdensome regulations on blockchain technology. Its aim is to provide its citizens with sensible but cohesive blockchain regulations.
The Ukrainian government is another European nation leading this drive towards sensible cryptocurrency and blockchain regulation. The head of the Ukraine National Securities and Stock Market Commission, Timur Khromaev, has recently suggested that the way to move forward is to recognize cryptocurrencies as tokens and financial instruments, which will then necessitate government regulation and licensing rules, all of which is currently absent in Ukraine.
This, he suggests, would be “an important first step in building a consensus among government agencies and financial regulators”.
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