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Belgium’s FSMA clarifies Bitcoin, Ethereum are NOT securities

Belgium's FSMA clarifies Bitcoin, Ethereum are NOT securities

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The financial industry is a big win for crypto industry stakeholders The Belgian Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) has clarified that Bitcoin, Ethereum and other decentralized cryptocurrencies are not securities.

Not a security if there is no issuer

Its report, supervisor said

“If there is no issuer, as in cases where the instruments are created by computer code, and this is not done in the execution of the agreement between the issuer and the investor (e.g. Bitcoin or Ether), then in principle the Prospectus Regulation, the Prospectus Act and the MiFID procedural rules do not apply.”

FSMA also clarified that cryptocurrencies, which are classified as non-securities, may be subject to other laws and regulations. However, this only applies if they have a payment or exchange function, i.e. if the company uses them as a medium of exchange. Crypto companies must still comply with all anti-money laundering rules for cryptocurrencies.

Belgium’s phased plan for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin

The statement is part of a step-by-step plan drawn up by the country earlier this year in July, when the plan was put up for comment. The latest decision was made after months of deliberation. Under Belgian or European law, the phased plan is not legally binding and according to FSMA it is “technology neutral”.

However, FMSA’s decision may serve as a precedent. The United States is currently witnessing a landmark case between the Securities and Exchange Commission and Ripple Labs over the status of XRP.

The landmark statement came after repeated requests for clarification from the financial regulator. This concerned the status of cryptocurrencies as securities and the general regulatory treatment of digital assets.

Belgium currently has no digital currency-specific legislation on securities and investments. When it comes to adoption, the country is definitely not at the top of the list. By Chain analysis‘s In the Global Crypto Adoption Index, Belgium ranks 94th.

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