On 7 May 2024, the European Banking Authority (EBA) issued a press release stating that the European Supervisory Authority had published three sets of final draft regulatory technical standards (RTS) and one set of final draft implementing technical standards (ITS) relating to the authorisation as issuer of asset-referenced tokens (ARTs), to the information for the assessment of acquisition of qualifying holdings in issuers of ARTs and to the procedure for the approval of white papers for ARTs issued by credit institutions under the Markets in Crypto-assets Regulation (MiCAR).

Together the technical standards are important components for regulating access to the EU market by applicant issuers of ARTs and persons intending to exercise significant influence on these undertakings via the acquisition of qualifying holdings.

RTS on authorisation

The RTS on authorisation, developed in accordance with Article 18(6) MiCAR, lay down the information requirements to be included when applying for authorisation to offer to the public or seek admission to trading of an ART, so to enable a comprehensive assessment of the application by a competent authority. Following an earlier consultation, the scope of the authorisation has been amended to clarify that: a) the applicant issuer may only be a legal person or undertaking established in the EU, and b) whilst the issuance is not subject to authorisation, which only covers the public offer or the admission to trading, an application may only be submitted by an applicant issuer, therefore only an issuer may be granted authorisation. 

ITS on authorisation

The ITS on authorisation, developed in accordance with Article 18(7) MiCAR, set out the standard application letter and the application template and clarify the process relating to the assessment of completeness of the application by a competent authority. As credit institutions are only required to receive approval to publish a white paper, the RTS and ITS on authorisation do not apply to credit institutions.  

RTS on the detailed content of information

The RTS on the detailed content of the information to be included in the notification of the proposed acquisition of direct or indirect qualifying holdings have been developed in accordance with Article 42(4) MiCAR. They lay down the information requirements that are necessary for a competent authority to carry out the prudential assessment of proposed acquisitions in issuers of ARTs that are not credit institutions.

This information covers five criteria relating to:

  • The reputation of the proposed acquirer.
  • The suitability of any person who will direct the target undertaking.
  • The financial soundness of the proposed acquirer.
  • The sound and prudent management of the target undertaking following the acquisition.
  • Suspicion that money laundering of terrorist financing is committed or attempted or that it may increase following the acquisition.

Following an earlier consultation and considering the request of personal data in case of the application for authorisation and of notification of proposed acquisition of qualifying holdings, some recitals reminding the obligation to comply with the privacy regime have been added both in the RTS on information for authorisation and in the RTS on information for notification of proposed acquisition of qualifying holdings. Credit institutions, unlike other issuers of ARTs, do not require authorisation to issue ARTs but must notify its competent authority, and the white paper must be submitted to the competent authority for approval. 

RTS on the procedure for the approval of white papers

The RTS on the procedure for the approval of white papers for ARTs issued by credit institutions sets out the timeframes that credit institutions, competent authorities and the European Central Bank or other central banks must follow during the procedure for the approval of a crypto-asset white paper. They have been developed in accordance with Article 17(8) MiCAR.