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MiCA vote postponed until April due to difficulties with its translation

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(Kitco News) - The final vote on the Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation (MiCA), the European Union’s landmark crypto regulation bill, has once again been postponed due to a “technical” delay and is now scheduled to take place in April.

As was first reported by The Block, an EU Parliament spokesperson has confirmed the delay, saying it is due to issues translating the nearly 400-page file into the 24 official languages of the bloc.

“MiCA is tabled to be voted by the plenary in April and to my knowledge, the delay is technical, caused by translating issues,” the official familiar with the matter said.

It is a requirement in the EU that legal acts like the MiCA be made available in all the bloc’s official languages. This is the second time the MiCA has been postponed due to issues surrounding its translation. The bill was originally supposed to be voted on in November, but that vote was moved to February for the same reason as the current delay.

MiCA is a comprehensive bill designed to establish the first-ever common licensing regime for crypto wallets and exchanges looking to operate in the EU. It is widely considered to be a standard setter that will impact the process of establishing crypto rules globally. Included in the legislation are rules surrounding the regulation of stablecoin issuance as well as rules for licensing firms offering crypto services in the EU.

A vote on the Transfer of Funds Regulation (TFR), which is meant to be implemented in tandem with MiCA, has also been postponed until April. The TFR requires crypto transfers to include know-your-customer information on both the recipient and receiver sides.

This delay in the vote will also postpone the implementation of the MiCA as the European Securities and Markets Authority and the European Banking Authority have 12 to 18 months after the bill is approved to draft the technical standards. That means that the earliest the legislation will go into effect is April 2024.

Bank of France governor calls for the country to establish crypto regulations ahead of the MiCA

Before the law can go into effect, it needs to be formally signed off by both lawmakers and national governments that make up the EU's Governing Council. Once passed, the law will directly apply to all 27 member nations of the EU, but its implementation and interpretation will depend on national regulators.

Lawmakers in the EU and around the world have stepped up their calls for crypto regulation in the wake of the FTX bankruptcy, with many officials in the EU saying that MiCA would have prevented such a collapse. Unfortunately, even this new law has flaws in its design, as it contains a loophole that would enable companies like FTX that are based outside of the EU to still be able to serve EU clients without extra regulation.

Some European countries have called on their governments to establish crypto regulations outside of the MiCA due to the continually delayed process. In the first week of January, Bank of France governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau called for the country to establish its own crypto licensing program in 2023 in order to “create the necessary framework of trust.”

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