We need to recognize the general potential of DLT technology, without being ignorant of related challenges and risks introduced by emerging crypto-assets. European banks support the careful attention that EU institutions are paying to the risks of crypto-assets, e.g. in terms of implications for the monetary policy.

Wim Mijs
Wim MijsEBF Chief Executive Officer

In monitoring the evolution and uses of technology, the ECB respects technological neutrality. We do not serve technology – technology serves us. We will only introduce a digital currency if we become firmly convinced that it is both necessary and proportionate to fulfil our tasks in ensuring the stability of our currency.

Yves Mersch
Yves MerschMember of the Executive Board of the ECB and Vice-Chair of the Supervisory Board of the ECB
Crypto-assets

State of Play

Block under construction

EBF key messages for crypto-assets

EBF response to the Commission consultation on crypto-assets

  • Banks recognizing the general potential of DLT technology, but are aware of related challenges and risks. The EBF supports the careful attention that EU institutions are paying to the risks of crypto-assets, e.g. in terms of implications for the monetary policy.

    x

  • The EBF likes to strongly emphasis the important principle of “same services, same risks, same rules” for regulatory activities targeting a crypto-assets ecosystem. The principle allows to mitigate risks appropriately, while incorporating new activities in the financial regulatory framework. It grants the flexibility required to make the framework future-prove.

    x

  • The EBF supports a technological neutral approach to provide clarity to the market regarding crypto-assets’ applicable regulatory requirements.

    x

  • The EBF calls upon regulators to ensure a necessary balance between innovation and proper protection of investors and consumers.

    x

  • The EBF highlights the importance of a level playing field regarding regulatory safeguards for crypto-assets, to be fostered by considerations of a pan-European approach rather than detrimental regulatory fragmentation across different countries.

    x

Key messages have been taken from EBF response to the Commission consultation on crypto-assets, full text available HERE

EBF position & key documents on Distributed Ledger Technology


EBF believes that DLT has the potential to contribute positively to citizens’ welfare and economic development. It has a considerable impact on banking industry infrastructures, roles and functions of financial intermediaries, back-office related securities processes, communication, interoperability and competition.


DLT will also help to
:
x

  • enhance supervision
  • improve transparency over transactions
  • enable new and smart ways to exchange information between entities and supervisors
  • increase flexibility and efficiency for both industry and authorities

European institutions

According to the updated Commission work program from 27 May 2020, a legislative proposal on crypto-assets will be issued in Q.3 2020.

The ECB communicates their close monitoring of the evolution and uses of technology, respecting technological neutrality.

The European Banking Authority (EBA) published in January 2019 the results of its assessment of the applicability and suitability of EU law to crypto-assets.

The European Security and Markets Authority (ESMA) published in January 2019 the Advice on Initial Coin Offerings and Crypto-Assets report.

The European Blockchain Observatory – EU Commission

The European Commission has launched a EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum with the support of the European Parliament. The EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum will identify relevant existing and emerging blockchain initiatives​, monitor and analyse blockchain developments and trends, as well as the potential opportunities and challenges for Europe as pillar of the Digital Single Market project. By bringing together Europe’s leading stakeholders, practitioners and experts, the Blockchain Forum will facilitate experience sharing and reflections, animate and lead debate engaging with blockchain technologists, innovators, citizens, industry and other organisations and stakeholders.

The Forum will be supported by two Working Groups:

  • Blockchain Policy and Framework Conditions: this Working Group should look particularly into cross-cutting issues in order to establish policy, legal and regulatory conditions needed to promote predictability and legal certainty, both necessary for larger-scale deployment of blockchain applications.
  • Use Cases and Transition Scenarios: this Working Group will focus on the most promising use cases, particularly with a public sector angle.

More information on this project: https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/european-commission-launches-eu-blockchain-observatory-and-forum

Blockchain: An issue of international relevance

G7 Working Group on Stablecoins report “Investigating the impact of global stablecoins” (October 2019)

INABA offers developers and users of DLT a global forum to interact with regulators to foster blockchain technology.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has formed an expert group

On 24 January 2020, the World Economic Forum announced the creation of a Global Consortium for Digital Currency Governance.

The BIS remains attentive to the development of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in different economic markets.

The “ Board Priorities – IOSCO work program for 2020” relates to past and future actions in the field of crypto-assets:

What is Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT)?

Distributed Ledger Technology refers to a novel and fast-evolving approach to recording and sharing data across multiple data stores (or ledgers). This technology allows for transactions and data to be recorded, shared, and synchronized across a distributed network of different network participants. This network can be a publicly accessible database or may be restricted to a specified group of users. From a technical perspective, it can be used, for example, to record transactions across different locations.

Blockchain: a particular type of distributed ledger

The technology that makes this possible is often referred to as “blockchain”, which refers to the technology that makes a shared ledger possible to run. Namely, all individual transactions are stored in groups, or blocks, which are attached to each other in chronological order to create a long chain. This long chain is put together using a mathematical formula – complex cryptography – which ensures the security and integrity of the data within a network in an immutable manner. This chain then forms a register of transactions that its users consider to be the official record.

EBF Adviser
Julian Schmücker

Julian Schmücker

Policy Adviser - Digital