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Blockchain: Regulation and Laws in Europe in 2020


In the framework of the European Blockchain Convention, the issue of regulation of the blockchain industry in Europe was discussed, with an excellent panel of experts.

The panelists were Amadine Doat, legal director and head of public policy at Ledger; Dr. Nina-Luisa Siedler, member of the European Union commission that started the German Blockchain Association; and Joshua Klayman. Klayman is currently Head of Blockchain and Digital Assets at Linklaters LLP.

Additionally, she is one of the best new blockchain attorneys in the world. She is also recognized as one of the best cryptocurrency and surveillance attorneys in the United States for 2019 and 2020. As if that were not enough, she chairs the prominent legal working group of blockchain alliances on Wall Street.

Joshua’s work is based on collaborating with key global market leaders and participants to move the industry forward. And not only that, as Klayman seeks to anticipate and address regulatory concerns and see strategic opportunities.

Finally, Belén Arribas also participated in this event. Arribas is a lawyer with extensive experience in the field of data privacy law, and digital commerce. His experience is extensive in cutting-edge sectors such as blockchain, cyber security of large data, and more. It is known for being a pioneer in this sector in Spain.

Regulations on Blockchain in Europe

The panelists talked about their experience and vision in the sector of Blockchain regulations in their respective areas of work.

The first to publicize her experience was Amadine Doat, who said “I would say that my knowledge is more of a part of regulation within the EU”. She commented that what we can expect is a harmonized regimen in the future. Likewise, he highlighted that “The French regime has been established. It’s a good regimen, it’s one of voluntary inclusion”.

Then he added that in this legal regime there are a series of established procedures. But “once you have shown this and are registered with the competent authorities, then you can launch your business in the cryptocurrency sector”. Also, he made it clear that whoever is interested can go through the complete blockchain business licensing process, but it really depends on whether or not you want to do it.

In that sense, Doat commented that “it’s great to have legislation that helps innovation because you don’t have to spend huge resources. It is important to protect investors”.

He also said that the example of France can be followed, whose legislation in this sector is now set in stone “and crypto companies can start doing their business knowing where they are going”.

For her part, Belén Arribas intervened saying that in her case she is not so optimistic since “in Spain we don’t really have a legal framework for this business. However, we have one expectation: the proposed regulation, which is coming true these days”.

Arribas clarified that, in Spain, the regulation of this sector “It is still a proposal to go to parliament. If adopted, it will have a balanced approach which may take some time, but I think it will be time well spent”.

Advantages of regulation on this sector in Europe

Several experts agreed, noting that adequate regulation in the blockchain technology sector provides certainty and legal clarity. Furthermore, these make it possible for the actors to follow the rules and enter the European Union market properly.

Obviously, these are just some examples of what is the regulation on Blockchain in Europe. However, the panellists noted that more harmonization is needed in this regard.

Blockchain regulation experts in Europe shared some interesting insights on what has been done so far in this sector, and the challenges to overcome. Source: Europa Blockchain Convention

However, beyond regulation, the experts highlighted that it is important to develop guidelines aimed at helping policy makers develop an understanding of technology.

Therefore, they spoke about the working group on digital assets within the European Union Blockchain Observatory and Forum.

Siedler assured that he considers this group “another very important global initiative right now, to achieve a general taxonomy of digital assets and recommendations so that legislators around the world can become a little more harmonized”.

To this, Klayman added that “Having a common taxonomy would be incredibly useful, because it doesn’t matter where you operate from (within a particular country or jurisdiction), if you are at least capable of literally speaking the same language within the crypto sector”. According to her, this would be incredibly useful. “Personally, I would love to see some kind of harmonization”.

Challenges for the regulation of the sector

However, he recognized that there are particular challenges in the sector that hinder a harmonization of regulations in the blockchain and digital assets sector. “The question right now is that when working with tokens, there is never a single jurisdiction that is applicable,” said the expert.

Later, Amadine assured that for her “the more harmonized we are, the better the community scale will be”. However, like Siedler he recognized that in Europe it is difficult to harmonize laws in this sector.

In Europe, even if you have those kinds of regulations, the local interpretation of the law still has value. And this goes against the predictability of where you are, if you want to scale beyond your home country.

Amadine doat

Final comments

These experts pointed out that another relevant thing is that the legal interpretation must be communicated as widely as possible, including the public, not just the actors. In that sense, they mentioned that this is easier said than done.

Harmonizing the law and harmonizing the interpretation of it is one of the difficulties that we as lawyers, and counselors of different companies and companies, face every day“Said Doat.

However, the expert contrasted saying that she considers that “Europe is on the right track in the sense that it is now beginning to harmonize more clearly . There is this leaked document on future European regulation of cryptocurrencies, which I believe will be published on Wednesday”.

It would be necessary to keep abreast of what happens with this regulation that she mentions, but in general the spirit of the same goes in favor of avoiding that “national jurisdictions continue to hold on to their national version“Doat said.

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