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Italy Set to Increase Crypto Surveillance and Introduce Tougher Sanctions

Italy Set to Increase Crypto Surveillance and Introduce Tougher Sanctions

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Italy reportedly plans to introduce stricter crypto surveillance measures due to the risks associated with digital assets. 

News agency Reuters reviewed an Italian draft decree detailing plans to adopt stricter crypto oversight measures over the risks tied to these assets. Measures include extremely high fines ranging between 5,000 and 5 million euros ($5,400 - $5.4 million) for offences such as market manipulation. 

Massive Fines for Insider Traders

According to Reuters, Italy is planning to introduce stringent crypto surveillance mechanisms and tougher sanctions regarding concerns of risks tied to cryptoassets. The decree, part of a broader scheme to improve sector surveillance, details that insider traders who unlawfully disclose insider information or engage in market manipulation could face fines between 5,000 and 5 million euros. 

Members of the European Union (EU) are preparing for the implementation of the much-awaited Markets in Crypto Asset (MiCA) regulation. MiCA, first passed in 2022, is a comprehensive regulatory framework regulating the digital asset industry across the bloc. The regulation takes full effect at the end of 2024 and requires intense preparation. Part of MiCA’s preparation process requires countries to decide which local regulator will assist in crypto supervision.

The local regulators tasked with supervision are called National Competent Authorities (NCA). Per the draft decree, Italy designated its central bank and market watchdog, Consob, as its NCA.  

Crypto Under Heavy Criticism from the European Banking Industry

The cryptoasset industry has faced severe criticism from the European banking industry and financial agencies, with an overwhelming anti-crypto sentiment from these traditional monetary bodies. 

Opinion

MiCA goes a long way to establishing a safer environment for consumers. It could be argued, in part at least, that introducing such an encompassing framework could be seen as bending to the views of these traditional institutions. Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank, famously shared her opinions of cryptocurrencies, stating they are “worth nothing.”

According to Lagarde, crypto should be regulated to protect inexperienced investors. 

While regulation is undoubtedly necessary, the danger lies in the over-regulation, which may, in fact, lead to crypto being heavily suppressed in Europe

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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