France has proposed giving the Paris-based European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) more powers and making it responsible for overseeing cryptocurrencies. French regulators say cryptocurrencies need EU-wide regulation.
EU-wide crypto regulation with ESMA as the main supervisory authority
France proposed on Tuesday that EU governments should transfer responsibility for regulating cryptocurrencies to the pan-European market regulator, the Paris-based European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), rather than national regulators, the Financial Times reported.
The French market supervisory authority Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) has also called for ESMA to be given more regulatory powers in order to regulate the crypto industry more effectively. The AMF said:
If ESMA were to be given the power to directly supervise public offerings of crypto assets in the EU and by crypto asset service providers, obvious economies of scale would be created for all national supervisory authorities and expertise would be efficiently bundled for common European benefit.
The AMF’s proposal was part of a far-reaching reform package designed to strengthen financial regulation across Europe.
According to the AMF’s proposal, ESMA will also oversee clearing houses, exchange operators and non-financial data and ratings.
In addition, the French authorities want to provide ESMA with new supervisory tools, such as “no-action letters”, which are used by US regulators to provide guidance on how to interpret financial rules. The French regulator added:
The EU should give serious thought to a shift towards genuinely centralized oversight of certain categories of institutions and activities.
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