Harmonisation is key to European crypto regulation

Author: Jimmie Franklin | Published: 4 Jun 2019

Senior bank and fintech sources say European regulators need to do more to get up to speed with cryptocurrencies and work towards regulatory alignment between member states.

According to Javier Sebastian, in the digital regulation and trends team at BBVA, "the crypto universe is almost, by definition, borderless". In this sense, the job of regulating cryptocurrencies extends far beyond the geographical borders of Europe. "This enhances the need for harmonisation in regulation among jurisdictions to avoid regulatory arbitrage," he added.

The need for member states to adopt similar, or at least complementary, legislation is even more beneficial in respect to the digital single market.

Yet despite its potential benefits, legislation has not gained traction yet within Brussels. This causes regulatory headaches, such as whether present guidelines allow for secure trading in cryptocurrency for customers. "Absolutely not" at the moment, according to Sebastian.

As Sebastian indicates, this isn’t to say that...