Malta Leads On Cryptoassets Regulation While EU Ponders

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As the European Commission ponders whether the European Union needs rules for cryptoassets and trading in virtual currencies, EU states are moving ahead with their own regulations, with the smallest of them, Malta, leading the pack.

The risks of investing in the industry were made clear last year when Bitcoin, the most successful cryptocurrency, lost three-quarters of its value from a peak around $20,000 in late 2017. The market capitalization of cryptoassets dropped to $110 billion at the end of January from $830 billion a year earlier.

These market developments have occurred in a “legal vacuum”, said Robert Ophele, the head of France’s financial regulator. Speaking at a financial-technology conference in Brussels, he urged the EU Commission to propose new regulations to address risks.

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