New EU regulator to address money laundering in crypto-assets

According to the European Union, a new regulator will be set up to address the issues associated with money laundering in crypto-assets.

In the negotiations between the European Parliament, the Commission, and the Council of EU Ministers, French Minister for Economy Bruno Le Maire described that a deal on pan-European Union regulation had finally been struck. In his opinion, this will "put an end to the crypto wild west." The European Parliament member and rapporteur for MiCA regulation Stefan Berger noted that some stakeholders were optimistic about this final draft. At the same time, it will make life harder for others.

The new EU regulation could be interpreted as a kind of indirect ban on stablecoins, the most popular of which are Tether (USDT) and USD Coin's (USDC). The provisional agreement will also see crypto asset providers needing authorization to operate in the EU, with ESMA monitoring the largest ones.

European lawmakers don't like a "wild west" — and they use that metaphor to describe anything that needs fixing. Last week, MEP Ernest Urtasun claimed to end the "wild west of unregulated crypto" with an agreement on the formation of an Anti-Money Laundering (AML) body that will have the authority to supervise certain CASPs. The new regulator would probably be called AMLA.

A surprising twist in Iowa

BlockFi, a crypto lending platform, was fined for selling unregistered securities two weeks before it got the license that it lacked in the state of Iowa. The new license is a glimmer of good news for BlockFi, which was among the lending firms that had to liquidate some positions from venture capital firm Three Arrow Capital (3AC), since the latter couldn't meet a margin call on its Bitcoin borrowings.

A  lawsuit was filed against the city of New

Grayscale Investments has filed a lawsuit against the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) after being denied its application to convert its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a spot-based Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). The court ruling on the matter is not expected until Q3 2023 to Q1 2024, so we may not see the GBTC going forward for some time.

How much revenue does regulation generate?

According to financial services company New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG), Bitcoin (BTC) prices rose following regulatory events affecting digital asset taxation, accounting and payments, as well as decisions on the legality of service providers and the digital assets themselves. The results are somewhat impressive: in the Americas, prices increased by 160.4% in absolute terms 365 days after regulatory events and 32.3% in relative terms; in Europe, at 180.1% and 52.0%, respectively.