- Robert Ophèle, the chairman of the French financial regulator wants ESMA to oversee cryptos in Europe
- He noted that the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is the ideal regulator for the role
- According to Robert Ophèle, the industry needs a centralized regulation for its effective management
Being a relatively new and evolving industry, many countries have battled with regulating cryptocurrencies. While others have outrightly banned the use, others have allowed cryptos to operate with free reign, while some others are looking for the sweet spot for the growth of the industry.
In 2020, France took a rather confounding step towards regulating cryptos when it judged that all cryptos should be stripped of their anonymity in transactions.
While France is still yet to create, as it were, the best regulatory framework, the Chairman of Autorité des Marchés Financiers, Robert Ophèle has suggested that the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) should oversee crypto regulation with the EU.
ESMA is the Ideal Crypto Regulator for the EU
In addressing the 5th Annual Conference on FinTech and Regulation, Robert Ophèle proposed a plan for Europe to regulate this emerging industry. According to the financier, the ESMA is in the best position to regulate the crypto industry.
Ophèle argued that its position and new approaches towards financial and crypto regulations, make ESMA the best candidate for the job. He stated that;
irst, this would be the best way to guarantee a level playing field in the EU. Second, as this regulation is brand new, it is easier to provide ESMA with competence from the outset than if this is considered at a later stage.
On the Flipside
- The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has placed a ban on transacting with Bitcoin and other cryptos in the country
- This contrasts the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which qualified cryptocurrencies to be securities last year
- According to its leading peer-to-peer BTC exchange Paxful, Nigerians traded over $566 million worth of Bitcoins within the past five years
Crypto Regulation Should Be Centralized
The financier also opined that for crypto regulations to thrive, it has to be centralized. He explained that the high costs involved in crypto regulation only make it suitable that a single organization should have all the expertise in the nascent market.
ESMA has its headquarters in Paris and oversees the pan European Union financial markets and drafts regulatory framework for the market.
Like other financial regulators in France, ESMA has been skeptical about the crypto industry and has previously issued a warning statement in 2018 against the risks of crypto investments.
At the time, many countries within the European Union are individually researching the crypto industry and imposing rules as they deem fit. While the crypto industry indeed needs a blanket regulatory framework, that could make or mar the industry, if there is a repeat of the laws imposed by France, it could change the cause of the industry.