EU to Wait for Cryptocurrency Analysis Before Any Regulation - Report

The 28-member bloc will take careful steps in cryptocurrency market, Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe explained after the EU finance ministers’ meeting in Vienna over the weekend.

The European Union (EU) has decided to put aside cryptocurrency regulation until the EU regulators make an analysis of the market, Bloomberg reported on Saturday.

There is no need for a rush into introducing common EU rules for the virtual coin market, the officials explained after the EU finance ministers’ summit in Vienna this weekend. While the European Securities and Market Authority (ESMA) is the most active in the sector, it remains unclear which bodies will do the digital asset research.

“The EU will be acting carefully in this area,” Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe told reporters in the Austrian capital.

German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said that the meeting was useful because the discussion had the goal to make sure that member states understand the cryptocurrency challenges and the options to act when needed.

“It’s obvious that we shouldn’t wait too long with that [regulation],” Scholz noted.

Austria, which is the current holder of the EU Presidency, was host of the summit on Friday and Saturday. The meeting was highly anticipated after a specially written report for the event by Bruegel think-tank called for an EU common approach towards cryptocurrency regulation, but after a period of testing national policies.

“In a single market in which consumers, investors, and firms can operate their digital business from any EU country, it is sensible to empower one supervisor to eventually be in charge of the entire crypto asset world […] However, at which point that should happen can still be debated. Currently, it might be useful to sustain different practices across EU countries for some time as a way to experiment and learn about the best approaches to this fast-developing technology,” Bruegel wrote.

In February, the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs), which include ESMA, banking (EBA), and insurance and pensions (EIOPA) regulatory bodies, issued a pan-EU warning to consumers regarding the risks of buying virtual currencies. The move followed ESMA’s crypto-warning in November that declared initial coin offerings (ICOs) as “very risky and highly speculative investments”.