The Blockchain Association of alias Federal block has organized this Wednesday in cooperation with the FOM University for Economics & Management Berlin, a public debate on the Token-regulation in the EU. The goal: to get clarity about the regulatory status in the EU, both from the individual countries perspective as well as from the European Commission. Accordingly, we looked forward to the statements of Peteris Zilgavis, Head of Unit for start-UPS and Innovation at the European Commission. How, specifically, the crypto-regulatory intentions in the EU? How the individual member countries differ in the EU with a view to their Blockchain Policy? These and other questions were discussed – with some surprising statements.
One of the latest Gretchen questions, which is not only the authorities but also many of the Blockchain Startups and investors, is: What conditions must be met in order for a Token is classified as a Utility and not as a Security (securities). Just Non-lawyers despair of this question, existing laws, there is enough room for different interpretations. To ensure orientation, held Nina settlers, partner at DWF, as well as spokeswoman for the Federal block-group Finance, a lecture on the corresponding definitions, which has been involved in the Token-Regulation Paper, of the women settlers as a Co-author of decisive, found.
Insightful words of the European Commission
Following the presentation by settlers, the EU-regulation. With all the caution that the regulatory authorities, the usual, replied Peteris Zilgavis in the Panel, quite specifically, to the question of how the next milestones to look at the EU. So should be selected until the end of September, a concrete Blockchain-Use-Case in the EU administration, to December, sufficiently specified and in 2019 to be implemented. It will not be, however, a public Blockchain-solution, but private, subject to approval Blockchain with a Proof-of-Stake mechanism. As a possible Use-Cases of the “Low-Hanging-Fruits are mainly” in the question, therefore, less complex databases and management operations, which can be mapped via a Blockchain.
Of course, the question was how the EU deal with the classification of tokens. This Zilgavis replied:
“So it is a real Utility Token, there must exist a service that makes it usable. Currently, we discuss with experts about a System, tokens of Investments and consumer goods, to distinguish.“
In this context, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) will have an important role. On demand of BTC-ECHO Zigravis explained how ESMA works:
“The ESMA Task Force to look at just what tokens can be considered as securities. For tokens that do not fall under this Definition, so-called Utility Token, then decides the observation for the Blockchain (EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum), whether the legislative measures in the sense of innovation promotion is taken place to be.“
Nevertheless, one should not confuse this with a free ride, as Zilgavis stressed. Just because something is not classified as a Security, not hot that no regulatory reach. Relevant, in particular, the E-Commerce rules as well as the far-reaching consumer protection law.
More than just a Token
In addition to the question of whether Security or not, they also discussed the geopolitical perspective of the Blockchain technology. Also on the Panel, Dieter Janecek, member of the German Bundestag for bündnis 90/die Grünen, the stressed sat, the importance of the Blockchain as an infrastructure for the Tech topics of Artificial intelligence and the Internet of things. It is precisely here that Europe has to recognize his opportunities, and not of the United States depend. Despite the high energy consumption with a view to the Proof-of-Work-procedure in the case of Bitcoin, he sees a long-term positive effects for climate protection, if you manage to use the Blockchain in combination with the AI and the IoT. Self-confident added Zilgavis in this connection, that he saw the EU in terms of Blockchain-adaptation from the United States and Europe would be better off than many believe.
Nina settlers added that the implementation of the KYC policies in Europe, European ICOs get no problems with the US law, since American citizens can be excluded from ICOs.
Contrary to the positive expectant mood in terms of crypto regulation, Marcus Ewald, Partner at Ewald & Rössing, as well as Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Blockchain the Federation warned that there would be a risk that innovations are “präreguliert” and thus braked. Ewald stressed how important it was to understand innovation before it can be regulated.
The jump back – The national characteristics of
All the laudable projects succeed, but only if the EU member States to work together and find a consensus. But how different is the regulatory environment in the individual EU States actually? Several Blockchain-representatives from different EU countries and clarified on refereed in your lectures about the national peculiarities of the crypto-regulation.
For special attention-Guillaume Béal, from France, gave information to the regulatory push in France created. So, for 1. July of this year, a decision in force that allows it to trade securities on a private Blockchain solution. Also, the willingness to create Standards for ICOs, more than in many other EU countries.
As a leader in the Europe-wide crypto-adaptation of the smallest country in see, however, in the round of Gibraltar. Jonathan Garcia highlighted the decisive advantage of the Gibraltar in the crypto regulation enjoy. Decisions could be quickly implemented, what will favour, in turn, innovation. So it is not surprising that in Gibraltar, a stock market exists only for Utility-Token – the Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange (GBX). While this may be particularly advanced, but the stock market also represents a regulatory Problem. As women settlers had already explained in its introduction in the Token-regulation is created with an exchange which also lists the units of account, a market that is, from a purely German point of view, require a permit. Accordingly, such exchange should be without any permission, neither operationally nor for advertising purposes in Germany.
Daniel Resas, representative for Germany, stressed together with Nina settlers that it would be a mistake, the BaFin. Although the cooperation in each of the points may extend a little hesitant, but the BaFin, in terms of Blockchain was established expertise is extremely strong. In the eyes of some hard regulation in Germany Resas even sees as a strength: the regulation made in Germany could stand for a particularly high level of legal security and consumer protection.
Resas also an important aspect of attention, we forget that often. ICOs are intended to be decentralized platforms that have no other way of capital collect. ICOs are in their origin so much more than just an attractive and effective financing tools for companies of any centralization degree. But here, as Nina settlers, added, note that there is, in any case not a hundred percent decentralized projects. So there are always opportunities that regulation can grab and you can make it so that people can be held liable.
As regards regulatory uncertainties, the Austrian representative, Andreas Mätzler, a clear piece of advice is: “fraud is more expensive than a lawyer”. A statement that fits well with the Statement of his Slovenian colleagues, Nejc Novak. This had previously expressed a tongue-in-cheek, that the Blockchain for lawyers was created and not for specific products.
You certainly could not answer all the legal questions on the Meetup. The Regulatory requirements, in particular if different national interpretations to complex. Nevertheless, the Meeting courage has made, that there are some people in Europe, the work determined in a legal framework, guard rails, without the innovations of stalling – one of the best Blockchain events for a Long time.