Bitcoin and Ether Do Not Need to Follow Financial Rules, Says Belgian Regulator

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Last Updated on November 25, 2022 by Bitfinsider

The Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority stated Thursday that cryptocurrencies without an issuer, such as bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH), are not securities.

The regulator stated that it was receiving a growing number of inquiries regarding the regulatory status of cryptocurrencies and intended to address the most common gray areas, such as when digital assets can be categorized as securities.


In nations such as the United States, disputes over when a cryptocurrency constitutes a security have led to legal proceedings, with the Securities and Exchange Commission stating that Ripple Labs should have registered its XRP cryptocurrency.

FSMA said that the Belgian rule is “technology agnostic,” implying that the designation of an asset as a financial instrument or security should not depend on whether it employs blockchain technology or anything more conventional.


The criteria, which closely resemble those outlined in a July consultation, indicate that transferable instruments with an issuer are probably securities. Therefore, they must provide an accurate prospectus with information for possible investors and comply with MiFID, an EU regulation that compels financiers to be transparent and avoid conflicts of interest. However, cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin do not qualify because they lack an issuer.


Even if these regulations do not apply, crypto firms are still required to implement anti-money laundering measures, according to the guidance. In the next years, a new EU rule known as the Markets in Crypto Assets regulation (MiCA) would compel new crypto offerings to prepare a white paper equivalent to a stock prospectus.


Belgian laws enacted in 2014 prohibit the distribution of crypto-based financial products to retail clients by professionals.


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