Netherlands Will Take Tough Line Enforcing MiCA, Dutch Regulator Says

The Netherlands will take a tough line enforcing new European Union crypto rules even if it means business goes elsewhere, the head of the Dutch Authority for Financial Markets (AFM) has said in an article published Friday.

AFM Chair Laura van Geest said cryptocurrency wasn’t good news, linking it to fraud, manipulation and speculation, and said the EU’s Markets in Crypto Assets regulation (MiCA) will only partly address its risks.

“Given the previous history, we see no reason to be lenient in enforcement” when it comes to applying the MiCA rules, which will require wallet providers and exchanges to seek licenses which will let them operate across the EU bloc in around 18 months’ time.

MiCA offers a single set of rules that will be put into practice by national authorities like the AFM, potentially meaning some crypto firms will simply look for the regulator that offers the easiest regime. Van Geest said she’d have preferred to have more consistent supervision by EU-level agencies, but won’t be undercutting standards to attract business.

“It is not for nothing that a MiCA 2 is already being presaged,” she said, noting that the regulation doesn’t apply to problematic areas like crypto lending.

Lawmakers at the European Parliament are set to formally vote on the law in April.

Read more: MiCA at the Door: How European Crypto Firms Are Getting Ready for Sweeping Legislation