Europe: "MiCA will have as big an impact as the RGPD".

Europe: "MiCA will have as big an impact as the RGPD".

Dimitrios Psarrakis, who is now a lobbyist in Brussels, spent seven years as an adviser to the European Parliament and worked on the future regulation on cryptos (MiCA). For him, this text is a considerable asset for the EU.

The Big Whale: After more than 18 months of work, the MiCA regulation has just been definitively adopted by the European Parliament. Why is this good news?

The crypto sector is still very young. On a global scale, there is no clear regulation. With MiCA, Europe is the first to have a text and a framework, so it is taking the lead.

It is often said that the United States innovates, China produces and Europe regulates. Isn't this still the case?

Things are changing. Europe is regulating and that's a good thing, but it's also going to innovate and produce, particularly in the crypto field! We mustn't overlook the importance of regulation. If Europe creates this framework, it will succeed in imposing its standards. MiCA is only the first step in the transformation of Europe's financial and technological system. The text only regulates the part on tokens, stablecoins and service providers.

All the rest, i.e. decentralised finance, NFTs, metavers, lending or staking are not really concerned.... More broadly, it's a question of the application of everything to do with blockchain in the so-called 'traditional' financial world. How do you tokenise financial assets? How do you put shares on blockchain? This is what Europe will be working on.

What do you say to those who consider that MiCA will harm the European crypto ecosystem?

They are wrong. The whole world is watching what Europe is doing on cryptos. This summer, a group of European parliamentarians went to the United States to see officials from the Federal Reserve (Fed), the Security Exchange Commission (SEC), elected members of Congress to talk to them about MiCA, to explain what Europe is doing. And guess what? One of the people in charge of future US legislation on cryptos told us that it was inspired by... MiCA. That's what we call the "Brussels effect", it's very important soft power.

I think MiCA will have the same impact as the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). In 2016, a lot of people were wondering about the RGPD, about its impact. With hindsight, we can see that this text has become a benchmark on a global scale with all the major groups, particularly American, being forced to comply with it in order to stay in Europe.

How can we be sure? How can we measure the impact of regulation?

Take the case of an American company that wants to come to Europe. To set up here, it has to comply with certain standards and obligations, which will force it to change the way it operates. European legislation will be 'exported' around the world via foreign companies.

How do you explain that the United States or China have not taken the lead if this is so important?

What Europe is doing is not simply offering legal certainty to crypto players. It is creating and structuring a new market. I am well aware that MiCA is not the best possible regulation. There are things that could be improved, but at least we have regulation, and therefore a market!

The United States doesn't have a market. Go and ask an American who works in crypto what he thinks of the United States. He'll tell you what everyone else is saying: no one is safe from a sanction from the SEC boss. Gary Gensler can intervene at any time.

How can you say that there is no market in the US?

In the US, they are trying to bring everyone into traditional financial regulation. In Europe, we have not opted for the same approach: MiCA is a completely new framework, adapted to cryptos and tokens.

In recent months the ECB has made good progress on the digital euro project. What are your thoughts on this? Aren't there any issues, particularly in terms of privacy protection?

MiCA is not about central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and the ECB is independent of politics, at least directly. I fully understand the concerns about the digital euro, but no one is capable of retrieving and processing the data of 500 million people. We're playing scare tactics. It's like with the digital yuan. How do you expect them to manage to track more than 1.2 billion people? They'll never manage it.

Everything that matters in Web3. Each week.
Try insider for free, for 30 days.
All that matters in crypto.
Deciphering, insights, Data. Access the best of the ecosystem.
In this article
No items found.
In this article
No items found.
In this category
No items found.