05 Oct 2018 Josphat Kariuki
ESMA Sets aside over a Million Euro for Monitoring Cryptocurrency and Fintech
Established in Paris in 2011, ESMA’s main objective is to develop a fair environment for EU financial markets and also act as a market supervisor. The regulatory authority has put together technical committees in a range of industrial fields like IT. This authority is also responsible for securities legislation and supervision.
According to the authority’s next year’s Annual Work Program, ESMA has listed a €1.1 million program. The program aims at enhancing supervisory operations and regulation of the growing financial activities on crypto assets and fintech.
Following the announced framework, ESMA plans to identify the risks involved in such trends and activities. The authority also aims to offer relevant advice and propose new developments where necessary. Furthermore, ESMA will strive to provide guidance, as well as facilitate the implementation of MiFID (Markets and Financial Instruments Directives). All this comes in a bid to increase transparency on the market.
Earlier last month, ESMA revealed its plan to extend contract restrictions on CFDs (Contracts for Differences), among them those based on cryptocurrency. The authority justified the move with the significant investor protection concern involved in offering CFDs in retail.
In March, the agency strengthened their requirements for CFDs. The regulator explained that ESMA would keep an eye on the exposure to cryptocurrency assets, such as CFDs, and also assess the need for more strict measures.
Later in September, the Belgian think-tank (Bruegel) called for a unified legislation on crypto assets from all E.U ministers. Bruegel also called for more scrutiny on their distribution to investors. According to the report, the move would manage the associated risks and allow the blockchain technology to realize its full potential.