‘Translating Issues’ Delay Vote on EU Crypto Law

EU crypto law

Technical issues are reportedly behind the second delay surrounding the passage of the EU’s landmark crypto legislation.

A vote on the Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation, commonly referred to as MiCA, has been delayed until April due to technical problems “caused by translating issues,” an official with knowledge of the matter told Coindesk in a report published Tuesday (Jan. 17).

The report points out that EU procedures mandate that regulations like MiCA — which was hammered out in English — must be available in all 24 official languages spoken by European Union countries.

This latest setback marks the second time in a little over two months that the European Union has postponed the vote on MiCA. In November, the European Parliament said the vote would be delayed due to the complexity and length of the text.

When it passes, MiCA will offer the first common licensing rules for crypto exchanges and wallets to do business in Europe, requiring platforms to receive a license from an EU financial supervisory authority.

The EU’s push to regulate crypto businesses comes as the industry is facing increased scrutiny in the wake of the collapse and alleged fraud at the FTX exchange.

As PYMNTS wrote last week, a number of other cryptocurrency companies have found themselves under investigation.

On Jan. 12, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Genesis Global Capital and Gemini Trust Company with offering unregistered securities, a move which Gemini Co-founder and CEO Tyler Winklevoss deemed “counterproductive” and “a manufactured parking ticket” in a series of tweets.

And the Department of Justice is reportedly investigating the founders of Solana stablecoin exchange Saber Labs, alleging the company’s leaders used a series of pseudonyms to create a network of interconnected financial products that double- and triple-counted crypto deposits by passing tokens between themselves.

Last year, an EU official said MiCA would have prevented FTX’s failures.

Speaking at a hearing of the European Parliament’s Committee on Monetary Affairs, Alexandra Jour-Schroeder, the deputy director general of the European Commission’s financial stability unit, criticized the cryptocurrency exchange.

She said that had MiCA been in force, “no companies providing crypto assets in the EU would have been allowed to be organized, [or] perhaps it’s better to say, disorganized, in the way FTX reportedly was.”

Commenting on the causes of FTX’s bankruptcy, Jour-Schroeder said “there were a number of very questionable … practices at FTX that were responsible, in our view, for the failure.”

These failures included “governance of the company, corporate controls, record keeping, misuse of customer assets, unwarranted risk-taking and potentially even fraud.”