The Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority has ruled that Bitcoin and Ethereum are not securities.
“If there is no issuer… then in principle the Prospectus Regulation, the Prospectus Law and the MiFID rules of conduct do not apply,” said the regulator
Belgian Regulator Neutral to Technology
The prospectus rules in Belgium broadly cover offers to the public. Crypto assets without issuers will no longer be considered securities.
However, if the instruments have a payment or exchange function, additional rules can be applicable to them. The release also specifies that the individuals who offer these services will also come under other rules.
Notably, the “stepwise plan is neutral as regards technology.” Meaning the technology employed has no bearing on an investment’s eligibility as a security or any other financial instrument.
The rules come at a time when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chair, Gary Gensler, has maintained that most cryptocurrencies are securities. The SEC and Ripple have locked horns in court, with the former claiming XRP is an “unregistered securities offering.”
Bitcoin is the only cryptocurrency that can be considered a commodity, said Gensler. Meanwhile, the SEC recently won another enforcement victory when it accused payment network LBRY of selling unregistered securities on its decentralized video publishing platform.
United States Remains Divided
Earlier this year, Gensler opined, “Many of these tokens… the investing public is hoping for a return just like when they invest in other financial assets we call securities. Many of these financial assets, crypto financial assets have the key attributes of a security.”
Congress needs to reach a consensus on the treatment of crypto after the President’s executive order passed earlier this year. Congressman Tom Emmer has maintained that a great majority of today’s tokens are commodities or currencies.
Senators Cynthia Lummis and Kirsten Gillibrand unveiled the first significant bipartisan legislation this year to classify digital assets as commodities.
The Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) states if an asset is not incorporated into an instrument, then it cannot be classified as a security or an investment instrument.
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