The European Securities and Markets Authority should regulate digital currencies in the European Union, according to a proposal by the Autorité des marchés financiers, France’s securities regulator.

Fast facts

  • The AMF said it made sense for a single body to take charge of regulation across the bloc to ensure a Europe-wide framework could be applied, as opposed to a regulatory patchwork among different jurisdictions.
  • “In such cases, it makes sense to build regulatory expertise at ESMA level from the outset,” the proposal said. “For instance, should an EU framework be established to regulate providers of non-financial data, ratings and services in the future, it would be legitimate to entrust ESMA with authorization and supervision tasks in relation to the entities covered by that framework.
  • “Likewise, granting ESMA the power of direct supervision of public offers of crypto-assets in the EU (scrutiny of white papers) and of crypto asset service providers would create obvious economies of scale for all national supervisors and concentrate expertise in an efficient way, for the common European benefit.”
  • Earlier this month, the European Central Bank announced that it was in the investigation phase of a two-year project to prepare for the issuance of a digital euro. The ECB said the underlying architecture for the project would ensure it was significantly more energy-efficient than Bitcoin, which it has criticized, citing environmental concerns.