On 3 July 2024, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) issued its second final report on the Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCAR).

The publication of the final report follows a consultation that ESMA conducted between 15 October 2023 to 14 December 2024.

The final report contains draft regulatory technical standards (RTS) and implementing technical standards (ITS) covering:

  • Sustainability indicators in relation to climate and other environment-related adverse impacts (RTS) (Articles 6(12), 19(11), 51(15) and 66(6) MiCAR). The draft RTS foster investor awareness by further specifying the information that persons drawing up a white paper and crypto-asset service providers (CASPs) need to disclose in relation to the adverse environmental impact of the consensus mechanisms used as regards the crypto-assets they are offering and in regard to which they are providing services, respectively.
  • Business continuity measures for CASPs (RTS) (Article 68(10)(a) MiCAR). The strategic objective of the draft RTS is to ensure CASPs have adequate governance arrangements in place to mitigate circumstances that would threaten the regularity or continuity of their services, and, in the scenario of a service downtime, effectively resume services within their established recovery time and recovery point objectives.
  • Pre-and-post-trade transparency for CASP trading platforms (RTS) (Article 76(16)(a) MiCAR). The draft RTS are intended to enhance pre-and post-trade transparency available to investors. The draft RTS further specifies the information that have to be made available to the public and sets out the data fields and standards that should be followed when publishing transparency information. In addition, the draft RTS ensures that the operating rules used by trading platforms for crypto-assets are transparent. In addition, the draft RTS includes the level of data disaggregation that should be made available to the public so that data users can customise their data solutions to the furthest possible degree to ensure that consumers only pay for the real-time data they need.
  • Record-keeping requirements for CASPs (two RTS) (Articles 68(10)(b) and 76(16)(b) MiCAR). The purpose of Article 68(9) and (10)(b) MiCAR is to specify the records that the CASPs are required to maintain in order for Member State competent authorities to fulfil their supervisory task in order to protect the investors and the market. To enable Member State competent authorities to identify market abuse, the record keeping by CAPS must be kept at a granular level and in a common format, both at the order and transaction level. The purpose of Article 76(15) and (16) MiCAR is to define the content and the common format of the order-book records that CASPs that are operating a trading platform are required to maintain. A common format is essential in order for Member State competent authorities to fulfil their market monitoring duties.
  • Machine readability of white papers and white papers register (RTS & ITS) (Articles 6(11), 19(10), 51(10) and 109(8) MiCAR). ESMA is mandated to establish a register of crypto-asset white papers, of issuers of asset-referenced tokens and e-money tokens, and of crypto- asset service providers. Pursuant to Article 109(8), ESMA specifies in the draft RTS the data necessary for classification, by type of crypto-asset, of crypto-asset white papers, including the legal entity identifiers in the register. Also, MiCAR defines the information that issuers and CASPs must provide within the white papers under Annexes I to III of MiCAR. MiCAR requires white papers to be made available in a machine-readable format for all three crypto assets classes. ESMA is required to define a template for the white papers and a format enabling machine readability of white papers. The objective of the draft ITS is to provide the templates for the disclosure of the white papers and to specify the machine-readable format for the preparation of the white papers.
  • Technical means for appropriate public disclosure of inside information (ITS) (Article 88(4) MiCAR). The objective of the draft ITS is to (i) identify the appropriate means for disclosure of inside information which ensures investors are promptly informed in a non-discriminatory way; and (ii) harmonise the technical means issuers, offerors or persons seeking admission to trading should use to delay the disclosure.

The draft technical standards are to be submitted to the European Commission for adoption. The European Commission shall decide whether to adopt the technical standards within 3 months.