EU to hold 'high-level' roundtable on cryptocurrencies

An EU Commissioner has announced plans to hold a meeting with central banks and public sector stakeholders to discuss cryptocurrencies "beyong current market trends"

What has happened?

The EU is planning to hold a meeting of key central banks and private sector stakeholders to discuss the effects of cryptocurrencies.

What does this mean?

Valdis Dombrovkis, the Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, told a press conference at the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) that he plans to bring together key authorities and the private sector to assess the longer-term situation in respect of cryptocurrencies.

He said:

"Crytocurrencies may have ramifications for many other areas, including for central banks. That's why I intend to bring together key authorities and the private sector in a high-level roundtable very shortly to assess the longer-term situation beyond the current market trends."

In the press conference, Dombrovkis repeated that Europe should be embracing blockchain.

However, he warned that authorities should "be vigilant and prevent cryptocurrencies from becoming a token for unlawful behaviour".

Dombrovkis said that he asked the European Supervisory Authorities in December 2017 to update their warnings from a financial stability and investor protection perspective and that this should happen imminently.

He also encouraged Member States to transpose the rules the EU agreed in December 2017 on money-laundering, which will put cryptocurrency exchanges and custodial wallet providers within the scope of money laundering supervision.

"That means less anonymity and more traceability, through better customer identification, and strong due diligence," he added.

Next steps

If you want to take advantage of blockchain's huge potential and disruptive impact, while avoiding falling foul of ever-developing regulatory and legal requirements, visit our Hogan Lovells Engage Blockchain Toolkit.

John Salmon


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