Cyprus has prepared its own legislation to regulate crypto assets and is likely to adopt it before Europe finalizes a common regulatory framework, a government official said. Nicosia authorities welcome “careful” use of cryptocurrencies, he added.
Cyprus Government To Introduce ‘Attractive’ Crypto Bill
Cyprus has an “enviable position” in the EU when it comes to innovation, with the second-best progress last year, according to the European Innovation Scoreboard, said the country’s Deputy Minister for Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, Kyriacos. Kokkinos, in a meeting with 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 having to heed the laws, the Cyprus Mail newspaper wrote in a report on Thursday. Quoted by the English daily, Kokkinos explained:
I can tell you that Cyprus welcomes the use of digital and crypto assets, but we still need to be very careful and respect not only the regulations currently in place but also the absence of regulations.
The government representative gave an example with Malta, the Witch regulatory framework attracted many crypto companies and investors, but also led to increased scrutiny and investigations into some of its companies and banking institutions. “We have to be careful with frames of the European Union since we are a member state”, emphasized Kokkinos.
The deputy minister then revealed that the Cyprus government has already drafted a “very attractive bill on crypto assets”. The legislation is published and interested parties can review it, he said. The executive branch has also commissioned a New York-based firm to help the island nation with implementation of the regulations.
“Our challenge is not to align ourselves with the EU, it is about the dilemma of whether to wait for the ECB to finalize its own regulatory framework or go it alone, with the scenario above also implying the possibility of that framework being over-regulated. ”, commented Kyriacos Kokkinos. “My answer is that we will do it alone, respecting the rules,” he added.
The deputy minister acknowledged that there are certain challenges, including some disagreements between the government and the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC). “We have to remember that the CBC is subject to the ECB and central banks tend to be conservative, so our job is to challenge them through the discussions we are having with them,” he told the audience at the event in Larnaca.
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