According to the Reuters report, the European Union will introduce new rules within four years to make cross-border payments quicker and cheaper using blockchain and crypto-assets like stablecoins. The European Commission is due to set out its strategy for encouraging greater use of digital finance at a time when 78% of payments in the eurozone are in cash. The commission also wants a rapid shift to “instant” payments, generally as pandemic lockdowns showed the growing role of cashless payments.
The EU executives will set out new rules for cryptocurrencies.
The European Union executives will present a draft law to clarify how existing regulations apply to crypto-assets and set out new regimes where there are gaps, the documents said. “By 2024, the EU should put in place a comprehensive framework enabling the uptake of distributed ledger technology (DLT) and crypto-assets in the financial sector,” the documents said. “It should also address the risks associated with these technologies.” Stablecoins came on the policymakers’ agendas last year when Facebook revealed plans for its Libra token. Central banks across countries are now studying whether to launch their own.
Instant payment systems should become the “new normal” by the end of 2021.
Brussels wants to make it easier to share data within the financial sector to encourage competition and a wider range of services while upholding the principle of “same risk, same rules, same regulation,” the documents say. The bloc should also have rules in place within the next four years to allow new customers to start using financial services quickly once anti-money laundering (AML) and identity checks have been completed, it said. The report further states that the commission will assess the impact of charges levied on consumers for instant payments and make sure that they are no higher than those for regular credit transfers.