EBA publishes new guidelines for ‘token issuers’ as part of upcoming MiCA regulation



EBA publishes new guidelines for ‘token issuers’ as part of upcoming MiCA regulation

The European Banking Authority (EBA) has unveiled comprehensive guidelines addressing recovery plans for issuers of asset-referenced tokens (ARTs) and e-money tokens (EMTs) as part of the broader Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation.

Under MiCA, ARTs are digital tokens backed by assets like commodities, real estate, or a diversified basket of assets, while EMTs are tokens pegged to fiat currencies to maintain a stable value for payments — also known as stablecoins.

The guidelines are designed to ensure robust recovery plans are in place to maintain compliance with regulatory requirements if issuers fail to meet asset reserve standards.

Recovery and disclosures

The EBA’s guidelines mandate that issuers develop recovery plans that include a summary of key elements, governance details, recovery options, and a communication strategy.

These plans must feature a comprehensive framework of indicators to monitor the issuer’s financial health and operational stability, including a critical de-pegging risk indicator to track the alignment between the token’s market price and the value of referenced assets.

The guidelines incorporate the principle of proportionality, ensuring that recovery plan requirements are consistent with the issuer’s size, complexity, and business model.

According to the EBA, this approach provides flexibility, allowing issuers to design practical and effective recovery plans tailored to their unique circumstances.

For tokens issued by multiple entities, the guidelines emphasize the importance of coordination to ensure aligned recovery plan indicators, consistent recovery options, and fair treatment of all token holders.

Transparency

The guidelines focus particularly on ensuring transparency. Issuers are required to develop communication strategies to inform token holders and other stakeholders about the implementation of recovery options.

They must also manage potential adverse market reactions and ensure stakeholders are aware of the steps taken to restore compliance. The guidelines specify that recovery plans should include transparent internal decision-making processes and timely communication with competent authorities.

The EBA developed these guidelines following a public consultation that ended in February 2024, incorporating feedback from various industry stakeholders. The final guidelines balance regulatory oversight with operational flexibility, aiming to strengthen the resilience of the crypto-asset market in the EU.

Issuers must comply with these guidelines and notify the EBA of their compliance status. The guidelines will take effect two months after publication on the EBA website, providing issuers with a clear framework for maintaining robust recovery plans.

The EBA said the formalization of these guidelines represents a significant step toward ensuring the stability and reliability of the rapidly growing crypto industry in the EU.



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