While the market is captivated by initial coin offerings as they continue to attract dizzying returns on invested capital, the capabilities of blockchain technology reach much further. Indeed, some blockchain solutions currently in development or already available throw into question the sense of existing financial regulations.
Recent unofficial reports that Estonia is working on a possible initial coin offering for participants in the country’s e-Residency programme have sparked a debate on whether EU law permits a country in the eurozone to offer a cryptocurrency.
During the past year Bitcoin doubled its value. Those who acquired this currency at a lower rate can now reap great profits. The ability to tax income on this basis has long been subject to doubt. Recently, a change of statistical classification of trade in Bitcoin augmented uncertainty in this regard.
Consultations are nearing the end on the proposed Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) for strong customer authentication announced by the European Banking Authority pursuant to the revised Payment Services Directive (2015/2366, known as PSD2). This proposal was much awaited by the entire financial technology industry. The standards could have a huge impact on business models and tech solutions applied on the FinTech market.
There are lots of indications that financial technology, or FinTech, is one of the next chapters in the digital revolution unrolling before our eyes.
It has been known for some time that the European Commission plans to extend the EU’s regulations on anti-money laundering and combating of terrorism financing (AML/CTF) to cover digital currencies. In February 2016 the Commission announced that it would present a proposal for changes in law in this area by the middle of the year.
The legislative proposal was presented in July 2016. It may bring about many changes for individuals and firms operating in the area of digital currencies, and perhaps also for those involved in distributed ledger (blockchain) technology.