The Regulation of Cryptocurrencies and ICOs under EU Law

Thijs Maas

Thijs Maas is a Dutch LLM student who developed a keen interest in the interplay between distributed ledger technologies and law. He started LawAndBlockchain.eu to help narrow the increasing gap between legal doctrine and regulatory challenges posed by blockchain-based asset classes.

Today, I am releasing a report I created on the legal qualification of digital assets and cryptocurrencies across European jurisdictions. The report gives an in-depth overview of EU law covering digital currencies and initial coin offerings. It is made for informational purposes only, and should not be used as professional or legal advice of any kind.

Some key takeaways:

  • EU legislation of digital currencies and crypto-assets is in an early stage.
  • A number of key regulators and policy makers have undertaken efforts to provide a degree of regulatory certainty while mapping out risks related to digital currencies and crypto-assets.
  • Digital currencies do not currently classify under key legal definitions of EU financial law, with the sole exception being the field of Anti-Money-Laundering.
  • While there is a degree of harmonization across European Member States, there are still substantial differences between Member State regulations, especially with regards to the regulation of crypto-assets under securities laws.
  • Smaller Member States tend to participate in jurisdictional competition by providing legal certainty to crypto businesses

 

The report on EU the regulation of cryptocurrencies under EU Law:

This report is, at minimum, up-to-date as of 19-10-2018. See my earlier paper titled ‘Initial Coin Offerings: When are Tokens Securities in the EU and US‘ for a more detailed legal analysis of initial coin offerings under EU securities laws.

About my work

Through Law & Blockchain Consultancy, I do legal research on the challenges faced by companies working with blockchain technologies. I further advise companies in the blockchain sector on a broad range of subjects from contract law to token offerings and securities issuances.

Thijs Maas is a Dutch LLM student who developed a keen interest in the interplay between distributed ledger technologies and law. He started LawAndBlockchain.eu to help narrow the increasing gap between legal doctrine and regulatory challenges posed by blockchain-based asset classes.