Italian gov’t to ramp up surveillance of crypto market

Italy is set to ramp up surveillance of the crypto markets as part of its compliance with the European Union’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulatory framework.

Under the new regulations, Italy will increase oversight over the digital asset markets to curb and punish insider trading and market manipulation schemes.

The decree stipulates fines ranging between 5,000 and 5 million euros ($5,400–$5.4 million) depending on the severity and scope of the regulatory violations.

The MiCA regulatory framework’s effects

First passed in 2022, the European Union’s MiCA regulatory framework is forcing blockchain firms to make some tough calls, while decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols are left with the difficult choice of fully decentralizing their networks or submitting to the framework’s Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer regulations.

The first section of the European Union’s MiCA regulatory framework. Source: European Union

Fully decentralized networks are exempt from MiCA’s reporting requirements. However, due to the use of foundations and other intermediaries that help moderate decentralized communities, these protocols risk breaching MiCA’s definition of a sufficiently decentralized network.

This means these DeFi protocols must either fully decentralize or accept a situation where users must submit verification data — a tough sell for many network participants.

Related: MiCA regulation takes shape under EBA’s newest guidelines

Centralized exchange Binance recently informed its European customers that it was moving to a model categorizing stablecoins as eitherauthorized or unauthorized, in line with the MiCA framework, and slowly transitioning users to the new system over time.

Richard Teng, CEO of the exchange giant, also noted that Binance is not delisting these stablecoins from spot markets, only limiting availability to European users for certain products.

Uphold likewise made changes to remain compliant with the EU’s regulatory overhaul and announced the delisting of six stablecoins, including, Tether (USDT), Frax Protocol (FRAX), Pax Dollar (USDP), Dai (DAI), TrueUSD (TUSD) and Gemini Dollar (GUSD).

Stablecoins: The fiat savior? 

Despite mounting regulatory pressure in Europe, many experts believe stablecoins have a bright future and could potentially stave off debt crises spurred on by overprinted fiat currencies. Former United States House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan recently made the case that stablecoins could help to mitigate shortfalls in the U.S. economy caused by the debt-laden U.S. dollar.

Jeremy Allaire, CEO of the stablecoin issuer Circle, also expressed optimism in the future of stablecoins, stating his belief that stablecoins will represent 10% of the money supply in the next decade.

Magazine: Are DAOs overhyped and unworkable? Lessons from the front lines.


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