Cryptocurrency regulations to be approved in EU parliament

The first set of regulations for the trading of cryptocurrency markets are to be approved by the European Parliament later today.

If passed, the measures are designed to ensure that crypto assets can be traced, preventing money laundering, terrorist financing and other crimes.

Many MEPs are of the view that cryptocurrencies are still in their infancy, with doubts over their long-term future.

Nevertheless, the European Union is seeking to regulate crypto markets, one of the first legislative bodies to do it.

There is concern over the use of cryptocurrency in criminality and terrorist financing.

When the HSE was hacked in 2021, those behind demanded a crypto currency ransom.

These new measures are expected to be passed later this afternoon and will start to come into effect from July next year.

They would require those facilitating the trading of the currency to register with an oversight body.

There is also a climate element, where service providers would have to disclose their energy consumption.

European Commissioner for Financial Services Mairead McGuinness says it will allow the sector to evolve in a safer environment.

Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus was involved in negotiating these new regulations.

He acted as shadow rapporteur for Left Group, meaning he negotiated on the group’s behalf.

Speaking to RTÉ’s European Parliament Report programme, Mr MacManus said that while he did not necessarily want to foster or encourage the growth of cryptocurrencies, he believed there was a need to regulate the market.

He also said that the future viability of cryptocurrencies was not certain.

MEPs largely agree that regulations will have to be updated on a continuous basis, in order to evolve with the crypto sector.