EU Approves MiCA: US Crypto Firms Consider Relocation

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• The European Union approved proposals in the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) bill, while the US securities regulator (SEC) continues its regulatory efforts.
• SEC chairperson Gary Gensler and commissioner Hester Peirce have expressed differing views on regulating decentralized finance (DeFi).
• Exchange Bittrex has been issued a Wells Notice by the SEC for allegedly failing to register as a broker-dealer or exchange.

European Union Approves MiCA Bill

The European Union recently approved proposals in the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) bill, providing clarity concerning crypto regulation across the region. This move comes as an increasing number of crypto firms consider relocating amid regulatory uncertainty in other jurisdictions, notably the United States.

US Regulatory Efforts Persist

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is continuing its efforts to regulate decentralized finance (DeFi). Chairman Gary Gensler has confirmed that DeFi will not be exempt from their supervision, while Commissioner Hester Peirce has warned that the proposal’s ambiguity could compromise free speech rights and promote incumbents while limiting innovation in the financial market. Representative Warren Davidson also intends to propose legislation to oust chairman Gary Gensler due to his perceived overreach in cryptocurrency regulation.

SEC Charges Bittrex for Failing to Register

On April 16, reports revealed that the SEC had served crypto exchange Bittrex a Wells Notice, alleging it breached regulations by not registering as a broker-dealer or exchange. On April 17, they officially charged Bittrex “for failing to register as a national securities exchange.” Bittrex criticized this action and argued that they always complied with applicable laws and are keen to clear their name in court. They also accused the SEC of attempting to clamp down on cryptocurrencies within America’s borders.

Gensler Appears Before Congress

On April 20th, SEC Chairperson Gary Gensler appeared before Congress at a hearing regarding proposed updates on offering exemptions from registration requirements for digital asset transactions conducted through distributed ledger technology platforms such as blockchain networks or smart contracts . He reassured lawmakers about his commitment towards investor protection but maintained that he was open to constructive criticism if necessary changes were needed for better outcomes.

This week saw significant developments regarding crypto regulation both within Europe and North America; however there remains considerable uncertainty surrounding how existing rules may be updated or amended going forward. It is clear that different nations have varying approaches when it comes to regulating cryptocurrency assets, creating potentially significant compliance issues for companies operating across multiple jurisdictions.