image

The European Union formally signed its landmark Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation into law on Wednesday, taking the bloc closer to becoming the first major jurisdiction in the world with tailored rules for the sector.

The law was signed by the European Parliament President Roberta Metsola and Swedish Rural Affairs Minister Peter Kullgren, alongside a separate anti-money laundering law that requires crypto providers to verify their customers’ identity when they transfer funds.

The news was announced on Twitter by the Swedish government, which is chairing legislative talks as it holds the EU presidency. A parliament spokesperson confirmed to CoinDesk that the laws in question include MiCA and the transfer of funds rules as well as two unrelated regulations on trade with Ukraine.

MiCA will enter into force in a few weeks after being published in the EU’s official journal, which is likely in June. Its provisions – offering crypto exchanges and wallet providers a license to operate across the 27-nation bloc, and requiring stablecoin issuers to hold appropriate reserves – will take effect between 12 and 18 months later.

MiCA was first proposed by the European Commission in 2020, and drew controversy when lawmakers came close to inserting environmentally minded provisions that could have amounted to a ban on the proof-of-work technology used by Bitcoin.

While the provisions were broadly welcomed by the industry, attention has also turned to the next stage of EU crypto regulation, with future laws potentially covering topics such as staking, non-fungible tokens and decentralized finance.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.