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Timeline:

  • September 2020: The European Commission published the proposed MiCA as part of its digital finance strategy
  • June 2022 – Provisional agreement reached between European Parliament and Council
  • Q4 2022 – expected time for the publishing of the final text on the Official Journal
  • Q3-Q4 2024 – expected time for MiCA to enter into force

 

Next steps:

Once the final text is approved and published on the Official Journal, the majority of the MiCA provisions will become applicable 18 months later, with certain exceptions.

Grandfathering and transitional arrangements will be available to crypto-asset service providers already providing services prior to MiCA, allowing them sufficient time to obtain the MiCA authorisation from their respective national competent authority (NCA).

 

Who and what falls within the scope of MiCA?

  • 3 (4) Crypto asset types:
    • Utility Tokens
    • Asset-referenced Tokens
    • E-money Tokens
    • Although initially excluded, certain NFTs may be re-classified as a MiCA regulated crypto asset.
  • Crypto Asset Service Providers (CASPs): to provide a crypto-asset service, CASPs will need to receive prior authorisation from the respective NCA, with such being valid across all EU Member States. Capital requirements, governance model, staff training and insurance coverage are amongst the regulatory criteria to be met by CASPs.
  • Issuers of MiCA regulated crypto assets: issuers of MiCA crypto assets will be required to publish a whitepaper containing core information on the project, characteristics, rights and obligations, and underlying technology of the crypto asset. The whitepaper is to be shared with the authorities at least 20 days prior to publication.

 

What should one do at this point?

Whilst we are still over a year from MiCA coming into force, the clock has started ticking and stakeholders already operating in the industry and targeting the EU market are urged to start considering their upcoming obligations under MiCA to prepare for the eventual submission of authorisation applications.

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