Globally, crypto assets are largely unregulated, with national operators in the EU only needing to show controls to combat money laundering.
Representatives of the European Parliament and EU states struck a deal on the Markets in Crypto Assets (MICA) Law, which is expected to come into force by the end of 2023.
“Today, we commandeer the Wild West of crypto assets and set clear rules for a harmonious market,” said Stephen Berger, the center-right lawmaker who led the talks on behalf of Parliament.
“The recent drop in the value of digital currencies shows us how risky and speculative they are and that is fundamental to act,” Berger said.
Green Party MP in Parliament Ernest Urtsun said that Mica will be the first comprehensive regime for crypto-assets in the world and will have stringent measures to protect against market abuse and manipulation.
The new law gives crypto asset issuers and providers of related services a “passport” to serve customers in the EU from a single basis, while meeting capital and consumer protection regulations.
The two major crypto hubs, the United States and the UK, have yet to approve similar regulations.
Crypto assets came under pressure following the collapse of TeraUSD and Luna Token last month, with major US cryptocurrency lending firm Celsius Network halting withdrawals and transfers this month.
Bitcoin fell this month to around $17,600, and was trading at around $18,900 on Thursday, well below the $48,200 level at the end of March as investors took losses.
Talks on Thursday focused on issues such as oversight of cryptocurrencies and energy consumption.
“We agree that crypto asset providers should disclose future energy consumption and environmental impact of the asset,” Berger said.
EU states will be the main regulators for crypto companies, although the bloc’s securities watchdog ESMA will have powers to take action if investor safety or financial stability is threatened, lawmaker Urtsun said.