Reed Smith Guide to the Metaverse

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In the near future, Bitcoins and other crypto-assets will probably be the usual tool when paying for music rights and royalties and streaming user fees. Therefore, a level playing field for market participants is of importance.

Authors: Simon G. Grieser

In September 2020, the European Commission published a draft regulation on crypto-assets. The so-called Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA) is intended to ensure unambiguous handling of cryptocurrencies and to regulate crypto-asset services and crypto-assets that are not already subject to existing European regulation.

The current patchy legal framework in different European countries makes it difficult for companies to start a business in this still very new area. In addition, the different national regulations create unequal opportunities for market participants.

Generally, MiCA will have the greatest impact on issuers, service providers, and trading venues. Crypto issuers in particular will have to comply with an information obligation and publish a white paper on their products that must be submitted to the relevant financial supervisory authority.

Further, MiCA determines that crypto service providers, such as crypto-asset custodians and operators of trading venues, must have a registered office in a Member State if they want to offer their products and services in the European Union. For smaller companies and fintechs, the regulation could cause certain disadvantages. In Member States where the market has been virtually unregulated to date, companies face high costs due to, for example, the acquisition of licenses or the costs incurred in connection with reporting requirements or a secure IT infrastructure.

Key takeaways
  • Bitcoins and other crypto-assets will probably be the usual tool when paying for music rights and royalties and streaming user fees
  • The EU’s Markets in Crypto-Assets rule is intended to ensure unambiguous handling of cryptocurrencies
  • New regulation likely won’t have extensive impact on German crypto companies
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