Skip to main content

In the dynamic realm of crypto-assets, staying abreast of regulatory changes is not just beneficial—it’s essential. As part of our ongoing series on global stablecoin regulations, today we focus on the European Union’s MiCA (Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation) document. This comprehensive regulation is set to reshape the crypto landscape in the EU, with its full implementation slated for 30 December 2024. However, it’s worth noting that Articles III and IV, which focus on E-MT and ART, will be activated earlier, on 30 June 2024.

📅 MiCA’s timeline: Key dates to remember

The MiCA regulation was officially introduced to the public on June 9, 2023, through the Official Journal of the European Union. While the broader regulation will be in force from June 20, 2023, specific sections, particularly Articles III and IV related to E-MT and ART, will be operational from June 30, 2024. By December 30, 2024, the entire MiCA framework will be fully functional.

🔍 Decoding MiCA: Stablecoin categories

MiCA offers a clear classification of stablecoins, segmenting them into two primary categories:

🔵 E-Money Tokens (E-MT)
  • Nature: E-MTs are digital tokens pegged to a single official currency. Their design and function closely mirror traditional electronic money.
  • Authorization: For issuance, entities must either be recognized as a credit institution or an electronic money institution.
  • Key Requirements:
    • Issuers must draft a comprehensive crypto-asset white paper and notify the relevant authority before its release.
    • Redemption at par value is a must, and the provision of interest is strictly prohibited.
    • Funds acquired in exchange for e-money tokens must be invested in assets that are denominated in the same official currency, ensuring there’s no cross-currency risk.
    • Issuers of significant e-money tokens have to adhere to specific requirements concerning asset reserves.
🔶 Asset-Referenced Tokens (ART)
  • Nature: ARTs derive their value from multiple sources or rights, which can include several official currencies.
  • Authorization: Issuers need to be a legal entity based in the EU and must have the endorsement of their home Member State’s competent authority.
  • Key Requirements:
    • Issuers must establish contractual agreements with third parties for various functions, including stabilization, reserve asset management, and distribution.
    • A detailed crypto-asset white paper is mandatory, highlighting the token’s characteristics and potential risks.
    • To safeguard ART holders, issuers should invest the reserve assets in secure, low-risk assets.

⚖️ Significance Criteria: E-MT vs. ART

E-MTs can achieve the ‘significant’ status based on criteria like a vast customer base, impressive market capitalization, or a high volume of transactions. Issuers also have the option to voluntarily classify their E-MT as significant, which can enhance market trust.

Conversely, ARTs have an exemption from the authorization requirement if, over a span of 12 months, the average outstanding amount is below EUR 5,000,000, or if the tokens are exclusively offered to qualified investors.

🛡️ MiCA’s Vision for a Secure Crypto Future

The MiCA regulation is a testament to the EU’s commitment to ensuring a secure and transparent crypto environment. By setting stringent standards for both E-MT and ART issuers, MiCA prioritizes the protection of token holders and fortifies the EU’s financial stability. As the stablecoin domain continues its global expansion, we remain dedicated to providing you with the latest regulatory insights.

🔗 Further Reading

For those who wish to delve deeper into the intricacies of the MiCA regulation, the complete document is available here.