Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) believes that Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies, which are issued solely by computer code, are not securities, making existing financial laws and regulations inapplicable to them.
Cryptocurrencies are not securities
The Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority published a report on November 22, which shows that cryptocurrencies will only be classified as a security when they are issued by a person or entity.
– If there is no issuer, as in cases where the instruments are created by computer code and not in execution of a contract between the issuer and the investor (for example, Bitcoin or Ether), then in principle the Prospectus Regulation, the Prospectus Act and the MiFID Conduct Rules do not apply, the FSMA report reads.
The Belgian regulator notes, however, that cryptocurrencies that are not categorized as securities may still be subject to other regulations if the company uses the digital asset as a medium of exchange.
– Nevertheless, if the instruments have a payment or exchange function, other regulations may apply to the instruments or the persons who provide certain services related to the instruments, it pointed out.
Noteworthy, however, is the fact that FSMA’s position is not legally binding in Belgium or European Union law. However, the report responds to frequently asked questions by Belgian issuers, bidders and service providers of digital assets.
FSMA said the so-called “phased plan” will serve as a guideline until the adoption of the European Parliament’s Regulation on Crypto Asset Markets (MiCA), which is expected to enter into force in early 2024.
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