Europe’s MiCA Is Finally Here. How Will the U.S. Respond?

For the crypto industry and its existential coupling with the banking sector, MiCA marks profound change, which only the most serious players are ready for. For example, in the resurgent stablecoin category, in which the dollar is the currency of reference, MiCA marks a proverbial fiscal cliff where unregulated or non-compliant tokens will ultimately be delisted or their access greatly restricted by crypto exchanges. The reason is simple. Rather than treating stablecoins like a fringe financial product or merely a poker chip in a crypto casino, MiCA brings stablecoins in line with longstanding electronic money rules. Therefore, all stablecoins offered by EU crypto exchanges must comply with rules for e-money tokens. This confers to the token holder a right of redemption at par for the underlying currency directly from the issuer, a way of reinforcing collective accountability and consumer protection in the interlinked digital asset value chain – from the wallet, to the exchange and, ultimately, to the issuer. Contrast this model to the amorphous standards or lack of prudential protections guarding against the run on the stable-in-name-only coin Terra Luna. If Terra Luna had abided by the e-money equivalent in the U.S., which are state money transmission laws, consumers could have been better protected from the crash


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