Crypto assets and investor protection | Business

ProShares Short Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITI) price detail on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on June 27, 2022.
ProShares Short Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITI) price detail on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on June 27, 2022.Michael NagleBloomberg

Spain was the fifth country in Europe in volume of cryptoactive transactions and the main recipient on a global scale in 2021. According to data from the Bank of Spain, the volume of transactions was 60,000 million euros. Considering, therefore, the technological development of recent years, as well as the concurrence of new digital assets and the need to provide investors with legal certainty, it is essential to adapt the regulatory framework to the new economic-financial paradigm as soon as possible.

Investment in crypto assets is still not regulated and, predictably, it will continue to be so until the European legislator adopts the Regulation on Crypto known as MiCA, which pursues access to innovative and safe investment in crypto assets. However, in Spain there has been significant progress in some of the most worrying aspects: their potential use for money laundering purposes and advertising campaigns about them. In April 2021, the Money Laundering Prevention Law was modified, identifying for the first time the operators involved in the cryptocurrency exchange process and the entities that guard the cryptographic keys. A year later, the Spanish legislator proposes new improvements and prevention and action mechanisms against cryptocurrencies.

And at the beginning of the year, the CNMV published the circular regarding advertising about crypto assets and defining for the first time in Spain the concepts of “crypt asset” and “crypt asset services”. In this line of promoting investor protection, we now highlight the project to reform the Law on Securities Markets and Investment Services. On the eve of achieving a harmonized regulatory framework, with the approval of the MiCA Regulation, the reform project includes in its scope of application any crypto-asset that can be considered a financial instrument, thus complying with the regulations applicable to financial instruments. . Thus, the CNMV is attributed the power to supervise and apply the sanctioning regime as soon as European regulations come into force, and may also fine in those cases in which they are not financial instruments, but are used as if they were.

In turn, the reform project incorporates guidelines for the application of the DLT Regulation, in order to allow the use of technology blockchain in market infrastructure. The legal nature of any financial instrument that was represented by technology blockchain remains unchanged, so the CNMV will have jurisdiction over it. Everything indicates that cryptocurrencies are not only in the focus of investors, but also, fortunately, of regulators and supervisors.

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