The Financial Services and Markets Authority in Belgium states that Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) are not securities. Having such an approach towards the two biggest cryptocurrencies in the market is rare. Unlike most regulators, Belgian regulators believe that whether an asset utilizes a technology does not affect the way that asset is classified.
According to Belgian regulators, the regulation of such assets should not be biased. The FSMA is neutral when it comes to the technology a financial instrument uses. Thus, they believe that Bitcoin and Ethereum are not securities. Whether something qualifies as a security should not rely solely on the technology that the transferable instrument uses.
The statement also mentions that if a transferable instrument has an issuer it has a higher chance of being considered a security; similar to how the July consultation outlines. Each statement, however, implies that such decisions must adhere to EU regulations. In this case, the MiFID regulation. This regulation exists specifically for increasing transparency as it requires financiers to be fully transparent. Through MiFID, the EU aims to lower the chances of conflicts of interest. Well, this does not apply to Bitcoin since this cryptocurrency does not have an issuer.
This statement comes after an increased number of inquiries regarding the legal status of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as a whole. The FSMA claims that they are hoping to clarify some things and clear out the smoke on whether digital assets such as Bitcoin are securities.
The Approach of US Regulators Towards Ripple
One of the biggest disputes of whether a cryptocurrency is a security or not is the case of Ripple and its token XRP. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company behind XRP, Ripple Labs, should have registered the XRP cryptocurrency. Well, today, the SEC is looking for ways to settle with Ripple Labs because they have been going back and forth for more than 2 years now. While there is no clear winner in the SEC Ripple case, the US regulators are working on new regulations to better classify such assets.