Regulation of E-Money Tokens under MiCAR

Title IV of MiCAR (Article 48 - 58) outlines rules for the public offering and trading admission of EMTs, alongside issuer obligations.

Requirements to be fulfilled by all issuers of e-money tokens
  • Key Points on E-Money Token Regulation (Article 48)
    • Only issuers authorized as credit or electronic money institutions can offer or trade e-money tokens in the Union.
    • They must notify a crypto-asset white paper to authorities per Article 51.
    • Other entities can offer or trade with issuer consent, following Articles 50 and 53.
    • E-money tokens are considered electronic money, especially if tied to a Member State's official currency.
    • Directives 2009/110/EC Titles II and III apply, except as noted in this Title.
    • Paragraph 1 doesn't apply to e-money tokens exempt under Directive 2009/110/EC Article 9(1).
    • This Title (except paragraph 7 and Article 51) doesn't apply to e-money tokens exempt under Directive 2009/110/EC Article 1(4) and (5).
    • Issuers must notify authorities 40 working days before offering or trading e-money tokens.
    • If paragraphs 4 or 5 apply, issuers must create and notify a crypto-asset white paper per Article 51.
  • Issuance and Redemption of E-Money Tokens (Article 49)
    • Specific requirements for issuing and redeeming e-money tokens apply, distinct from Directive 2009/110/EC's general provisions.
    • E-money token holders have a claim against issuers.
    • Issuers issue e-money tokens at face value upon receiving funds.
    • Issuers must redeem e-money tokens, on request, at face value in non-electronic money.
    • Conditions for redemption are stated in the crypto-asset white paper (Article 51).
    • Redemption of e-money tokens is typically fee-free, with exceptions noted in Article 46.
  • Prohibition of Interest on E-Money Tokens (Article 50)
    • Issuers of e-money tokens are prohibited from granting interest, deviating from Directive 2009/110/EC's Article 12.
    • Crypto-asset service providers offering services related to e-money tokens are also barred from providing interest.
    • The points above consider any form of compensation or benefit tied to the duration of e-money token holding as interest, including net compensation, discounts, or equivalent benefits directly from the issuer or third parties.
White Paper for EMTs
  • Key Points on Crypto-Asset White Paper for E-Money Tokens (Article 51)
    A crypto-asset white paper for e-money tokens must include:
    • Information about the issuer
    • Details about the e-money token
    • Information regarding its public offering or admission to trading
    • Rights and obligations associated with the e-money token
    • Insights into the underlying technology
    • Disclosure of risks
    • Impacts on climate and the environment related to the consensus mechanism
    • Identity of persons other than the issuer offering the token to the public and reasons for their involvement.

    1. The information must be clear, fair, complete, and non-misleading, presented concisely.
    2. The crypto-asset white paper must carry a statement emphasizing its lack of approval by any EU competent authority, with sole responsibility resting on the issuer.
    3. It should include warnings that the e-money token isn't covered by investor compensation or deposit guarantee schemes and that it doesn't constitute a prospectus as per EU Regulation 2017/1129.
    4. A statement from the issuer's management body confirming compliance with regulatory standards and the accuracy of information is required.
    5. A summary in non-technical language providing key details about the e-money token offer must be included.
    6. The crypto-asset white paper must contain the publication date and a table of contents.
    7. It should be available in machine-readable format.
    8. In cooperation with EBA, ESMA will develop standards for standard forms, formats, and templates.
    9. Issuers must notify their crypto-asset white paper to their competent authority at least 20 working days before publication.
    10. No prior approval of crypto-asset white papers by competent authorities is required.
    11. Any significant changes or inaccuracies affecting the token assessment should be described in a modified crypto-asset white paper.
    12. Issuers must publish the crypto-asset white paper on their website before offering the token to the public or seeking admission to trading.
    13. Information provided to competent authorities will also be communicated to ESMA and made available in the register.
    14. With EBA cooperation, ESMA will develop regulatory technical standards for sustainability indicators related to climate and environmental impacts.
    15. ESMA will submit these standards to the Commission for adoption.
  • Liability of E-Money Token Issuers for Crypto-Asset White Paper Information (Article 52)
    1. If an issuer of an e-money token violates Article 51 by providing incomplete, unfair, unclear, or misleading information in its crypto-asset white paper or a modified version, both the issuer and members of its administrative, management, or supervisory body will be liable for losses incurred by e-money token holders due to such violations.
    2. Any attempt to exclude or limit civil liability as described in paragraph 1 will be legally ineffective.
    3. E-money token holders are responsible for providing evidence indicating that the issuer violated Article 51 by supplying inadequate or misleading information and that such information affected their decision to buy, sell, or exchange the token.
    4. The issuer and its administrative, management, or supervisory body will not be held liable for losses resulting from reliance on the summary provided in Article 51(6), unless the summary is misleading, inaccurate, inconsistent with other parts of the crypto-asset white paper, or lacks essential information that helps prospective holders make informed decisions about purchasing the e-money tokens when combined with the other parts of the white paper.
    5. This article does not affect any other civil liabilities under national law.
  • Clear Marketing Rules for E-Money Tokens (Article 53)
    Marketing materials for e-money tokens must:
    а) Clearly say they are marketing.
    b) Be fair, clear, and honest.
    c) Match the white paper info.
    d) Show the white paper exists and give issuer contact details.

    1. They must also tell people they can redeem tokens anytime at their full value.
    2. All marketing materials and updates must be on the issuer's website.
    3. Approvals from authorities before publishing aren't needed.
    4. Notify authorities if they ask about marketing materials.
    5. Marketing can't start until the white paper is out, except for market research.
  • Safekeeping of Funds from E-Money Tokens (Article 54)
    E-money token issuers must handle funds from token sales this way:
    (a) Keep at least 30% in separate bank accounts.
    (b) Invest the rest in low-risk assets in the same currency as the token.
  • Recovery and Redemption Plans (Article 55)
    • For e-money token issuers, rules from Title III, Chapter 6 apply.
    • They have six months from the token offer or trading admission to submit recovery and redemption plans to the competent authority.
Significant E-Money Tokens
  • Classification of Significant E-Money Tokens (Article 56)
    • EBA categorizes e-money tokens as significant based on criteria in Article 43(1).
    • Competent authorities report relevant data twice a year.
    • EBA informs issuers, competent authorities, ECB, and central banks.
    • Observations are considered before a final decision is made.
    • Supervisory duties transfer to EBA if deemed significant.
  • Voluntary Classification as Significant E-Money Tokens (Article 57)
    • Issuers seeking significant classification notify the competent authority.
    • EBA evaluates based on criteria from Article 43(1).
    • EBA and authorities provide feedback within 20 days.
    • EBA decides within 60 days; supervisory duties shift if significant.
  • Additional Obligations for Significant E-Money Tokens (Article 58)
    • Significant e-money token issuers follow specific requirements.
    • Audits are mandated every six months.
    • Competent authorities may apply these requirements to non-significant tokens to manage risks.
    • Certain articles apply to e-money tokens in non-official currencies.
The MiCAR will apply from 30 December 2024, except for Titles III and IV, which will apply from 30 June 2024.