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Cryptoassets: A Global Perspective – “Time to Define”

As in politics, ‘uncertainty’ was the watchword of the cryptoassets market in 2018. Although global financial institutions sought to clarify the definitions of financial instruments, transferable securities and payment instruments in relation to cryptoassets, these classifications may not be consistent across borders. From a consumer perspective, the FCA revealed the alarming figure that 73% of UK consumers surveyed did not know what a cryptoasset was.

The FCA is looking to give much needed regulatory clarity to market participants carrying on activities in this space and to work alongside its global counterparts to create a coordinated international approach.

But, how do different jurisdictions approach regulation and how feasible will synchronicity be?

Focussing on select jurisdictions, our new report charts the most consequential regulatory developments in the cryptoasset ecosystem up to March 2019. Including:

  • Countries and territories that addressed the topic
  • Those that implemented a legislative framework covering virtual financial assets
  • The challenges faced by some on introducing new laws

The aim of the report is to highlight the interventions of those forward-looking regulators which are most likely to define the international approach to cryptoassets. It analyses the breadth of regulatory measures taken and addresses some of the potential trajectories which the future rule-making could take.

Luke Scanlon, who produced the report, commented:

"Some jurisdictions can be described as 'ahead of the curve' in creating bespoke regulatory environments for cryptoassets. This does not necessarily drive crypto investment towards those jurisdictions, however, and many stakeholders are waiting for the guidance which the FCA is likely to produce within the next few months.

“Although the market capitalisations of the best known cryptoassets are yet to return to their previous highs, 2019 may be the year in which regulatory structure finally crystallises around this nascent market and true market leaders can begin to create value with confidence.”

Read further commentary on Out-Law here.

Key Contacts