European Commission’s Kerstens Responds To SEC Chair Gensler About Bitcoin and MiCA

Peter Kerstens

The popular music, film and interactive festival SXSW (South by Southwest) took place this week in Austin, Texas and included some programming devoted to digital assets.

Unfortunately, several policy luminaries ended up cancelling including Senator Cynthia Lummis (R, WY) and New York Department of Financial Services Superintendent Adrienne Harris. Participating executives from Coinbase and Circle also rotated out senior leadership with executives who lived in the “neighborhood” or were slightly more junior. No doubt the unfolding banking crisis in the United States played a role.

Nevertheless, the show must go on and in a well-attended panel discussion titled, “Regulating Crypto for Responsible Innovation,” Peter Kerstens, an advisor at the European Commission, appeared as scheduled.

Kerstens shared that he participated in the discussions last month with U.S. Congressional staff in Europe about the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) legislation developed for the European Union.

With the perception by some that the U.S. lacks an appropriate regulatory framework for digital assets, Kerstens welcomed the idea that the United States might participate in what is known as the “Brussels effect.”

He explained on stage:

“I’ve been at the European Commission for 27 years …. one of the things which I have observed is that the US gets to innovate, Asia get to copy and improve, and Europe gets to regulate. We’re always first out of the box with laws and regulation. (…)”

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