The world of cryptocurrencies is worried, because the happy existence largely without rules is nearing the end.

Politicians and regulators are working on new paragraphs and regulations.

At the same time, fans of cryptocurrencies are outraged by some of the planned state intervention.

And try to fend off unwelcome rules.

Sarah Huemer

Editor in the "Value" department of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper.

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Now the world is not completely unregulated so far, there are already a few paragraphs.

In Germany, for example, companies need a crypto custody license if they offer their customers Bitcoin, Ether and Co.

Just this week, Commerzbank was the first major bank in Germany to submit an application to Bafin.

In addition, the European Money Laundering Directive stipulates that crypto exchanges must verify the identity of their own customers.

But the rules are full of holes, mainly because they often only apply to individual countries.

Uniform rules in the EU

Now the wind is turning.

As long as there is no common global regulation, money laundering and illegal financing of terrorism cannot be completely stopped, Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman warned in a conversation at the International Monetary Fund conference this week.

However, it is difficult worldwide for all countries to agree to common regulation.

For this reason, uniform standards should soon prevail, at least within the European Union.

It wants to present a uniform set of rules in the next few months.

The aim is to create a legal framework for crypto assets.

To do this, she is looking for answers to questions such as: What requirements does a company have to meet in order to offer crypto products?

What is the best way to protect investors?

What rights do they have if their Bitcoin is stolen in a hacker attack?

Who is responsible for supervision - the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority or the European Securities and Exchange Commission?

These rules aren't just about Bitcoin, they're about thousands of other crypto assets.

The EU project runs in two initiatives: First, there is the so-called "Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation" initiative, or MiCA for short.

Second, another initiative is intended to ensure that cryptocurrency transactions are better controlled and thus prevent money laundering.

Politicians drafted the new rules in the Economic Committee of the European Parliament.

The final step in the legislative process is now pending.

The rules are expected to come into effect next year.

One suggestion caused a lot of discussion.

It is about those accounts, also called wallets, that exist outside of official crypto exchanges.

There you don't have to register with your name, you just get a kind of identification number.

This makes it very difficult to trace who is behind a transfer.

And that bothers many regulators and supervisors.

Ultimately, this makes it harder to uncover criminal activity.

Crypto fans protest

Many crypto fans are opposed to this planned regulation.

For them, it contradicts the basic idea of ​​Bitcoin and Co. After all, the cryptocurrencies should enable a decentralized financial system in which no authorities or large institutions know to whom and where they are sending their money.

They also fear that this rule will scare off crypto exchanges and start-ups.

They charge those politicians who vote for the ban with not fully understanding the consequences.