Bitcoin, Ether, smart contracts, wallets, ICOs, STOs, virtual currencies, tokenization, blockchain, DLT, stablecoins: all terms that are nowadays mentioned in the same breath with crypto assets. In our FinTech practice we are requested to give our legal and regulatory analysis of the qualification of these digital appearances of – mostly – something of value.
Is it a security or a financial instrument? Is it a form of funds or other means of payment? Does the issuer, the wallet provider or the intermediating platform fall under the scope of any regulatory framework or does a prospectus need to be published?
Fair questions which are not always easily answered. After the introduction in AMLD V of a registration obligation for custodial wallet providers and exchanges that offer fiat-crypto exchange services, the European legislator now works on a much broader legal framework for crypto assets.
Recently, a consultation initiated by the European Commission in line with the FinTech Action Plan was closed in which input was requested from the market for a legal framework on crypto assets. FG Lawyers submitted its response. The formatted version can be downloaded here.