Brussels, London (5/9 – 33.33). Viktor Prokopenya, the founder and CEO of Capital.com and Currency.com, has voiced his support for the new EU Agreement on anti-money laundering rules for cryptocurrency regulation. The new agreement’s aim is to introduce an obligation for crypto asset service providers to collect and make accessible certain information about the originator and beneficiary of crypto asset transfers in operation.
The Markets in Crypto-Assets Proposal (MiCA)
The ’markets in crypto-assets’ (MiCA) proposal, will cover “issuers of unbacked crypto-assets, and so-called stablecoins” as well as the trading venues and the wallets where crypto-assets are held. The new agreement will enable the EU to deal with the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing linked to these new technologies while reconciling competitiveness, consumer, and investor protection, as well as the protection of financial integrity in the internal market.
The regulation aims to harmonize rules regarding:
- Disclosure and transparency for the issuance and trading of crypto-assets
- Licensing and supervision of crypto-asset service providers
- Operation, organization and governance of token issuers and crypto asset providers
- Consumer protection
- Market abuse
The regulation will also result in companies being more accountable for investor losses, with crypto companies having higher investor protection standards to adhere to. They may also be held liable in the case of losses of investor funds. MiCA mandates that stablecoin issuers have a presence in the EU and that they possess sufficiently liquid reserves.
The regulation was originally introduced in 2020 and provides the first iteration of a sound legal framework for crypto-asset markets to develop within the EU. It provides a clear definition of the regulatory treatment of crypto-assets which are not covered by existing legislation on financial services. The aim of this is to support innovation and a competitive environment, as well as to prevent market manipulation, terrorist financing and other criminal activities. In the latest version of the legislative text, there is the differentiation between crypto assets in general, asset referenced tokens (ARTs) and e-money tokens primarily used for payments. The draft regulation also distinguishes between electronic money tokens and asset-referenced tokens with regard to who can issue both. The European Central Bank will have the capacity to authorize or refuse the issuance of tokens that threaten the financial stability of the EU or monetary sovereignty in the eurozone.
The new rules come in the midst of bitcoin facing its worst quarter in more than a decade and is the first attempt at creating comprehensive regulation for digital assets in the EU. The move comes ahead of both the US and British decisions to roll out laws tailored to the market of cryptocurrencies. Although the initiative was incorporated in 2021, it took until March 2022 until new developments came to fruition with the European Parliament advancing a regulatory proposal. Currently, the UK’s FCA is following a different path to the MiCA regulation, aiming to license and regulate the industry fully as well as to regulate stablecoins which it considers to pose an “immediate risk to traditional payment methods”. It remains to be seen what regulation will be put in place with regard to Web3, as establishing regulation for DeFi and TradFi will follow a different approach to the regulation of cryptocurrencies.
Prokopenya, a London-based technology entrepreneur who launched his investment company, VP Capital, after founding and selling his software development company Viaden Media, has significant experience in digital currency trading and financial technology. Capital.com is an international fintech company that implements AI in financial instruments online trading. The company was launched in 2016 and created the infrastructure for the cryptocurrency exchange Currency.com.
“I have long supported regulation of crypto and fintech – this agreement represents an important advance for our industry. Transparency and responsible regulation is the future for our sector.”
“Prokopenya was quick to welcome the regulation, which he says will help with the expansion of both of his businesses as users feel more confident about using the platforms.
“We founded Capital.com with one simple idea in mind – there should be no barriers to financial trading. For too long now, finance, particularly trading, has been restricted to the elitist world of large institutions and city traders.
“Fast-forward to today and a whole new generation of investors brought up on mobile technology and the internet has emerged promising to change the face of traditional investing forever. To give everyone the chance to learn to trade and invest for themselves we built a platform that was engaging, informative and simple to use.
“We focused on three strategic enablers to achieve our goal – education, fair and transparent pricing and cutting-edge technology”.
The areas of technology where VP Capital focuses its active investments – artificial intelligence, augmented reality, computer vision, fintech and blockchain – require a combination of particular and rare skills as well as a lot of processing power. A highly specialized and innovative technology space, it has high growth potential. Its focus for the upcoming year centers on the following three key strategic objectives:
- Prioritising free and extensive education
- Harnessing AI-powered technology to deliver a tailored experience
- Prioritising fair and transparent pricing
The democratization of finance
Prokopenya hopes that Capital.com can achieve its objectives of catalyzing the democratization of finance and has been outspoken in his belief that people should remain optimistic on the future of digital currencies and the inevitable push toward the democratization of financial markets and financial participation. He stated:
“Trading apps and platforms can play an essential role in assisting in the growth and development of financial literacy. This is something built into our approach at Capital.com, with educational tools embedded into our user experience.
These tools can be vital in improving and expanding a trader’s knowledge and importantly, their confidence. Our Investment App, or the in-app guides on concepts such as derivatives offers the opportunity to nurture our customer’s skills. After all, a trader who takes the time to expand their understanding of how best to utilize leveraged trading could find it is the key to increased successes in the future.”