The implementation of the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) legislation could expedite the expansion efforts of major cryptocurrency exchanges across Europe, according to Crypto.com president and chief operating officer Eric Anziani.
Speaking exclusively to Cointelegraph, Anziani highlighted how increased regulatory scrutiny and the “fragmented” nature of European rules for the industry have made life difficult for exchanges to serve users across borders.
“We’re looking forward to MiCA. I think Europe is a great market but a very fragmented one. If you want to play by the rules, you must comply with very different frameworks in each market,” Anziani explained.
Related: FTX collapse, Binance’s US settlement provide strong case for MiCA regulations
The company’s chief operating officer said that Crypto.com has registered in key markets across the continent, including France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. This process provides a dose of perspective when considering the hurdles that compliant exchanges face when expanding internationally.
“It’s very costly for a business to do the right things currently in the market. MiCA will bring some harmonization and allow us to be more efficient while still affording a high bar on the compliance front.”
The collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX empire has played a significant role in the increased scrutiny of the industry. As Anziani explained, regulators across the globe have made some adjustments to the frameworks that they have to regulate the space, especially around customer protection and market integrity.
The United Kingdom is another market in which Crypto.com has a significant presence. In June 2022, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced stricter rules for cryptocurrency-related businesses and services.
A raft of rules focused on advertising and investor protection mandates that U.K.-based firms implement a “cooling-off period” for first-time investors. The FCA also prohibited companies in the sector from using “refer a friend” bonuses and had clear rules about disclosing the associated risks of investing in cryptocurrencies.
Related: Crypto investor protections won’t take effect in EU until late 2024
“The U.K. is one of those markets where the regulator made some changes, but it’s not the only one. There were some adjustments to be made to our offering, but we complied, we were on time, and we were able to continue offering our services in the market,” Anziani said.
Anziani told Cointelegraph that Crypto.com’s customer base is approaching 100 million users. The chief operating officer added that the platform has seen an influx of users since October 2023, coinciding with a surge in the value of Bitcoin (BTC) alongside hype ahead of the approval of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds in the United States.
The company retains a strong presence in “tier one” jurisdictions, according to Anziani, with North America, Western Europe, the U.K. and Asia commanding a significant share of its user base.
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