Cyprus has drafted its own legislation to regulate crypto assets and is likely to pass it before Europe finalizes a common regulatory framework, a government official has indicated. Nicosia authorities welcome the “cautious” approach to cryptocurrencies, he added.
Cyprus government submits “attractive” crypto law
Cyprus has an “enviable position” in the EU when it comes to innovation, with the second-best progress over the past year, according to the European Innovation Scoreboard, said Kyriacos Kokkinos, the country’s deputy minister for research, innovation and digital policy, at a meeting with Cyprus the local fintech community. The event was dedicated to digital assets, entrepreneurship and financial technology.
Commenting on the future of digital assets in Cyprus, including cryptocurrencies, the minister walked a fine line between embracing innovation and the need to respect laws, the Cyprus Mail wrote in a report on Thursday. Quoted by the English-language daily, Kokkinos elaborated:
I can tell you that Cyprus welcomes the use of digital and crypto assets, but we still have to be very careful and respect not only the regulations currently in place, but also the lack of any regulations at all.
The government representative gave an example with Malta, whose regulatory framework attracted many crypto companies and investors, but also led to increased scrutiny and scrutiny of some of its companies and banking institutions. “We have to pay attention to the framework of the European Union because we are a member state,” stressed Kokkinos.
The deputy minister then revealed that the Cypriot government had already drafted a “very attractive bill on crypto assets.” The legislation has been made public and interested parties can consult it, he stressed. The executive also hired a New York-based firm to help the island nation implement the regulations.
“Our challenge is not to align with the EU, it is the dilemma of whether to wait for the ECB to finalize its own regulatory framework or to go it alone, the former scenario also entailing the possibility of over-regulating that framework” , remarked Kyriacos Kokkinos. “My answer is that we go it alone while respecting the rules,” he added.
The Deputy Minister acknowledged that certain challenges remain, including some disagreements between the government and the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC). “We have to remember that the CBC reports to the ECB and central banks are more conservative, so our job is to challenge them through the debates we have with them,” he told the audience at the event, which took place in Larnaca.
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