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THE WORLD FEDERATION OF EXCHANGES RESPONDS TO EUROPEAN COMMISSION CONSULTATION ON CRYPTO ASSETS

Hamilton, Bermuda – 20 March 2020:  The World Federation of Exchanges (“WFE”), the global industry group for exchanges and CCPs, has responded to the European Commission’s consultation paper on the EU regulatory framework for crypto assets.

 

The WFE response can be summarised as follows:

 

·         The WFE believes there could be value in adopting a single EU classification which covers both digital assets and crypto assets, as a subcategory. Such a categorisation should, however, be mindful of any forthcoming international classification and have the ability to absorb and adopt it. It should take the form of guidance, to provide clarity, which also enables individual jurisdictions the right level of autonomy to properly and appropriately safeguard and manage the requirements of their local market structure, whilst also enabling regulatory deference in the regulation of digital and crypto assets in third country jurisdictions.

·         The WFE supports the creation of a classification of crypto assets at the EU level, noting that providing clarity around classification would help to build consensus and create harmony within the member states of the EU, as well as with other jurisdictions globally. The WFE advises that the definitions be based on the value of the assets represented, and should avoid overly detailed ‘technical’ definitions.

·         The WFE continues to highlight the importance of distinguishing between so-called ‘crypto asset exchanges’ and the regulated, secure and lit markets that established exchanges provide.

·         With regards to Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), the WFE argues that, whilst its members are exploring the feasibility of DLT to provide enhanced, safer and more efficient marketplaces - for example, by reducing operating costs and speeding up settlement - policy makers should be mindful of the purpose and functions undertaken by exchanges and CCPs, and that DLT cannot replace the core functions performed by those market infrastructures.

 

Nandini Sukumar, Chief Executive Officer, WFE said: “We believe that fast-moving technological advances in the European financial market infrastructure space call for a coordinated approach, which fosters innovation, while preserving financial stability and market integrity. This approach also needs to operate in an internationally applicable manner, as well as allowing for individual jurisdictions to apply their own, specific and appropriate regulatory requirements to the regulation of crypto assets, in line with the needs of local markets. We are therefore pleased to see the European Commission’s work towards building a regulatory framework for crypto assets, which will go towards ensuring this nascent market is properly regulated.”

 

Please click here to read the full WFE response.

 

The WFE operates a FinTech Working Group (FTWG). Set up in 2017, the WFE's FTWG comprises senior technology and innovation representatives from 25 exchanges and CCPs globally. The purpose of the FTWG is to enable members to develop comprehensive and coherent industry policy positions to help shape regulatory thinking in this space, while also sharing information and best practice about new developments.

 

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About the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE):

Established in 1961, the WFE is the global industry association for exchanges and clearing houses. Headquartered in London, it represents over 250 market infrastructure providers, including standalone CCPs as well as those that are part of exchange groups. Of our members, 35% are in Asia-Pacific, 45% in EMEA and 20% in the Americas. WFE’s 57 member CCPs collectively ensure that risk takers post some $800bn (equivalent) of resources to back their positions, in the form of initial margin and default fund requirements. WFE exchanges are home to nearly 53,000 listed companies, and the market capitalisation of these entities is over $93 trillion; around $88 trillion (EOB) in trading annually passes through WFE members (at end 2019). 

 

The WFE is the definitive source for exchange-traded statistics, and publishes over 350 market data indicators.  Its free statistics database stretches back more than 40 years, and provides information and insight into developments on global exchanges. The WFE works with standard-setters, policy makers, regulators and government organisations around the world to support and promote the development of fair, transparent, stable and efficient markets. The WFE shares regulatory authorities’ goals of ensuring the safety and soundness of the global financial system.  

 

With extensive experience of developing and enforcing high standards of conduct, the WFE and its members support an orderly, secure, fair and transparent environment for investors; for companies that raise capital; and for all who deal with financial risk. We seek outcomes that maximise the common good, consumer confidence and economic growth. And we engage with policy makers and regulators in an open, collaborative way, reflecting the central, public role that exchanges and CCPs play in a globally integrated financial system.

 

For more information, please contact:

 

Anna Watson

Head of Communications, The World Federation of Exchanges 

Email:     awatson@world-exchanges.org

Phone:   +44 20 7151 4137 / 7850 287 685

Twitter:   @TheWFE

 

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