EU’s McGuinness Urges Speedier Vote on Long-Delayed Crypto Laws

EU Commissioner Mairead McGuinness wants to speed up a vote on landmark crypto laws that has been repeatedly pushed back for procedural reasons, according to a Nov. 29 letter seen by CoinDesk.

The letter, given to CoinDesk in response to a freedom of information request, is the latest indication that the European Commission is getting antsy about delays to its landmark Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation, which it sees as all the more urgent in the wake of the collapse of crypto exchange FTX.

“Recent events have highlighted once again the importance of having adequate regulation of crypto markets” to protect client assets and the wider economy, McGuinness, commissioner for financial services, said in the letter to Irene Tinagli, chair of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, and Zbyněk Stanjura, the Czech finance minister who chairs governmental talks on the law.

“I would ask you to do your utmost to ensure a rapid vote and subsequent publication of the MiCA and TFR [transfer of funds] regulations,” she wrote. McGuinness she wants the rules to come into force at the latest in spring of next year. The TFR is a parallel law intended to counter money laundering and requires crypto companies to verify the identity of those making transfers.

A European Parliament vote on the legislation, originally scheduled for this month, has been pushed back to February owing to concerns over the length and complexity of the text, which must be translated into 24 languages. CoinDesk understands it’s also possible the vote could be held in March, though the legislation was in principle agreed last June. It will take effect between 12 and 18 months after being published in the bloc’s official journal.

The two regulations “set a clear signal to other jurisdictions worldwide,” McGuinness said, with countries such as the U.S. and U.K. contemplating their own crypto laws.

Officials have noted that MiCA would have stemmed alleged improprieties at FTX , citing rules against misuse of customer funds, though some lawmakers appear skeptical.

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