Last Updated: 25 November 2022
Belgium’s financial regulator confirms its position on bitcoin. Along with all altcoins, cryptocurrencies issued solely by computer code are not considered securities.
🇧🇪Belgium's take on conditions must be met in order for a crypto asset to be classed as a security are in contrast to the views of U.S. Securities Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler. pic.twitter.com/4DAtG5O9Tw
— Aiom.Ai® Web3 Intelligency (@Aiom_Techs) November 25, 2022
Rules in Belgium
The explanation comes from the Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority. Earlier this month, it released a report as a follow-up to a July 2022 draft. It asked for comments at the time.
The clarification that bitcoin is not a security comes after an increasing number of questions about Belgium’s existing financial laws and regulations in conjunction with digital assets.
Although the authority is not legally binding under Belgian or European Union law, the regulator states that cryptocurrencies would be classified as a security according to its “roadmap” if it was issued by a person or entity:
“If there is no issuer, such as in cases where instruments are created by a computer code and this is not done in execution of an agreement between issuer and investor (e.g. bitcoin or ether), then in principle the Prospectus Regulation, the Prospectus Law and the MiFID rules of conduct will not apply.”
The document is a roadmap to serve as a guideline until the European Parliament’s Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulations are adopted. It is expected to come into force in early 2024.
So despite the fact that cryptocurrencies are not automatically securities by definition, they are subject to other regulations.
There is a similar debate going on in the United States. Among other things, a lawsuit is pending against Ripple, while bitcoin is being pushed into the corner of commodities. The question is whether regulation of bitcoin as an asset should therefore come under the CFTC or the SEC.
In the Netherlands, bitcoin falls under box 3 of the tax rules.