The crypto community in Croatia has enriched its vocabulary with another term that all members of that community will remember well – the register of VASPs. It is the Ordinance on keeping the register of virtual property service providers and assessing the good reputation of natural persons in virtual property service providers, which was adopted by the Administrative Council of Hanfa at the end of June, and which entered into force on Thursday, July 6.
On the occasion of the adoption of the register of VASPs, we spoke with the leaders of the blockchain association StoneBlock, president Stipe Plejić, vice-president Denis Kulušić, secretary Ivan Čizmić and Milan Mašanović as a member of the board of StoneBlock, who believe that the regulation of virtual assets in Croatia should be more ambitious. The legislator, they say, should more often harmonize the regulation with technological development and the growing demand for virtual assets, as well as the needs of the industry.
They note that in all member states of the European Union, the recently adopted MiCA – Regulation on Crypto Asset Markets, which establishes the legal framework for the sector for the first time at the EU level, will soon enter into force. MiCA will be directly applied in all member states, including in Croatia. Therefore, they point out, this regulation will be the regulatory framework for the crypto asset market in Croatia as well.
The Rulebook contains various forms such as the Registration Application Form, Statements and Questionnaires required for entry into the register. “The adoption of this rulebook was a necessary prerequisite for the implementation of MiCA, and we will see how it all will look in practice,” says the Association. They point out that VASP introduces a type of security and predictability.
The purpose of MiCA is the sustainable technological development of the blockchain industry and the protection of consumers who come into contact with various services provided by the so-called crypto asset service providers (Crypto Asset Service Provider – CASP). MiCA applies to natural and legal persons and entrepreneurs who deal with the issuance and public offering of cryptoassets and listing for trading and CASPs, our interlocutors explained.
“The upcoming MiCA regulation should introduce legal certainty in the market and enable European crypto asset management companies to expand and grow faster, which licensed companies will use to offer their services on the global market,” StoneBlock says. They believe that the adopted MiCA is much closer to the needs of the industry and the attempt to attract investments from the blockchain sphere than it was initially proposed. Namely, the versions before this one were much more rigorous.
The Regulation on Cryptoasset Markets established uniform EU market rules for cryptoassets. Key provisions for issuers and traders of cryptoassets, including asset-backed tokens and e-money tokens, include transparency, disclosure, authorization to operate, and transaction monitoring. The new legal framework will support market integrity and financial stability by regulating public offerings of cryptoassets and ensuring that consumers are better informed about the risks associated with them.
“Croatia should smartly regulate crypto-assets, given that there is no law in our country that directly regulates digital assets. Some of our neighboring countries in the region have a special law on digital assets, so it would be good if our legislator passed appropriate regulations that would regulate this specific area”, they conclude.