12 July 2023
The European Banking Authority (EBA) today published a statement for the attention of financial institutions and other undertakings who intend to commence, or have commenced, asset-referenced token (ART) or electronic money token (EMT) activities prior to 30 June 2024 (the application date for the relevant provisions of the Markets in Crypto-assets Regulation - MiCAR) and for competent authorities. The statement is intended to encourage timely preparatory actions to MiCAR application, with the objectives to reduce the risks of potentially disruptive and sharp business model adjustments at a later stage, to foster supervisory convergence, and to facilitate the protection of consumers.
The statement includes ‘guiding principles’ to which financial institutions (and other undertakings) carrying out ART/EMT activities are encouraged to have regard until the application date. These guiding principles encompass: (i) disclosures to, and fair treatment of, potential acquirers and holders of ARTs and EMTs, (ii) the business model, (iii) sound governance, including effective risk management, (iv) reserve, recovery and redemption arrangements, and (v) communications with the relevant competent authority.
The statement is accompanied by a template that financial institutions (and other undertakings) intending to carry out, or carrying out, ART/EMT activities, are encouraged to communicate, on a timely basis, to the relevant competent authority.
Consumers are reminded that, prior to 30 June 2024 (the application date of MiCAR), ARTs and EMTs do not constitute regulated instruments under MiCAR and so consumers do not yet benefit from the rights and protections set out in MiCAR. Consumers are also reminded of the joint-ESA warning, including the list of ‘things you should know and check’ before acquiring crypto-assets available here.
Regulation (EU) 2023/1114 on Markets in Crypto-assets establishes a regime for the regulation and supervision of crypto-asset issuance and crypto-asset service provision in the European Union (EU). It came into force on 29 June 2023, and the provisions relating to asset-referenced tokens (ARTs) and electronic money tokens (EMTs) will be applicable from 30 June 2024.
Among the activities within the scope of MiCAR are the activities of offering to the public or seeking admission to trading of ARTs and EMTs and issuing such tokens. Supervision tasks are conferred on the EBA for ARTs and EMTs that are determined by the EBA to be significant. Additionally, the EBA is mandated to develop 17 technical standards and guidelines under MiCAR to further specify the requirements for ARTs and EMTs, and an additional 3 mandates jointly with ESMA (and, in one case, also with EIOPA).
The EBA is issuing the statement in accordance with its general tasks of promoting supervisory convergence, mitigating risks of forum shopping, and facilitating the protection of consumers.