EU Regulator Clarifies Rules for Crypto Firms Serving Non-EU Customers

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) clarified rules for EU-based crypto firms serving non-EU customers. According to ESMA, third-country firms can provide crypto-asset services to non-EU clients only when the client is the exclusive initiator of the service. This provision, known as the reverse solicitation exemption, is narrowly framed and strictly an exemption. ESMA emphasized that companies cannot use this exemption to bypass the rules outlined in the Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation (MiCA), which came into force in June 2023. ESMA also published a consultation paper on the exemption and another on guidelines defining the classification of crypto-assets as financial instruments.

ESMA’s clarification provides further guidance on the limitations of crypto-asset services provided by third-country firms in the EU. The focus on the client being the exclusive initiator emphasizes the need for client-driven interactions. The consultation papers aim to bridge the gap between MiCA and the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II), ensuring a harmonized regulatory approach. This move signals the ongoing efforts to establish a comprehensive and nuanced regulatory framework for the cryptocurrency industry in the EU. (Source: Cryptoslate)