European regulators are determining whether to regulate initial coin offerings (ICOs) as securities sales on a case-by-case basis, Reuters reported Monday.
European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) chair Steven Maijoor told the European Parliament economic affairs committee that some ICOs resemble financial instruments, which would place them within a specific regulatory framework. However, the regulator is still analyzing how best to regulate ICOs which do not fall within that bucket.
He told the committee:
“The subsequent question is what do we do with those ICOs that are outside the regulatory world. We will assess that as a board. We expect to report by the end of the year.”
The news comes less than a week after ESMA revealed it was budgeting more than €1 million to monitor cryptocurrencies and other fintech activities next year.
As previously reported, the agency’s 2019 Annual Work Programme set aside €1.1 million for activities revolving around financial innovation, including crypto assets.
At the time, the document stated that ESMA’s objective over the upcoming year was to “achieve a coordinated approach to the regulation and supervisory treatment of new or innovative financial activities.”
Moreover, the regulator intends to compile advice for EU institutions, market participants and general consumers, though it did not provide any specifics.