Blockchain.

Blockchain.

On 23 and 24 June 2022, CEW & Partners takes part in the Brussels Blockchain Week in order to provide its expertise on the legal and regulatory aspect of crypto-assets.

Blockchain touches many levels of law and raises several legal questions. In addition to general law (like consumer protection, trade practices, anti-trust and data protection and privacy), the issuance and exchange of crypto-assets is regulated by Belgian and European regulations.

In Belgium, since 2014 specific rules prohibit the marketing to individuals of derivatives on virtual currencies. This ban is not aimed at the marketing of virtual currencies themselves to individuals, but at financial products whose performance depends on virtual currencies.

Moreover, since 2020 providers of exchange services between virtual currencies and legal currencies and providers of portfolio custody services have been included in the scope of the law on the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing. Following the extension of this scope of application, since the 1st of May 2022, providers of exchange platform services and portfolio custody services of virtual currencies must be registered with the FSMA (Autorité des services et marchés financiers) in order to be able to carry out their activities on the Belgian territory. Legal persons who were already providing such services before 1 May 2022 will be able to continue their activities on a provisional basis until the FSMA decides on their application for registration, subject to notification to the FSMA by 30 June 2022, followed by an application for registration by 31 August 2022 at the latest.

The European legislator has also adopted numerous laws to regulate crypto-assets, by adopting, in particular, a comprehensive package of measures called the “Digital Finance Package” which aims to enable and support the potential of digital finance for innovation and competition. Among this package, we can mention:

  • the DLT Pilot Regime which aims to enable multilateral trading facilities and central securities depositories to operate a DLT financial market infrastructure (the Regulation was adopted on 30 May 2022); and
  • the proposal for Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA) which aims to provide a harmonised EU framework for crypto-assets which are not currently covered by European financial services legislation.

For more information, please contact: David Szafran (david.szafran@cew-law.be), lawyer, CEW & Partners.

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