On 21 December 2022, the Dutch Minister of Finance (the Minister) provided an update on the European Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation (MiCAR) to the Dutch Parliament.

The text of MiCAR is currently being finalised and translated. MiCAR will be applicable 18 months after the date of publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (EU), except for the provisions dealing with stablecoins. These will be applicable twelve 12 months after publication. The final text of MiCAR is expected to be ready in the spring of 2023. The Minister announces that legislative proposals implementing relevant parts of MiCAR into Dutch law will be submitted to the Dutch Parliament as soon as possible following the official publication of MiCAR.

According to the Minister, MiCAR contains a comprehensive regulatory framework for cryptos, while also striking a balance between innovation and administrative burden for crypto firms. Even though the rules in MiCAR are derived from those applicable to existing financial services and product, some MiCAR rules are formulated more abstractly to ensure this balance.

The Dutch Authority for Financial Markets (Autoriteit Financiële Markten, the AFM) has indicated on several occasions that MiCAR is not the answer to all crypto-related issues. Although the Minister agrees with this statement, the Minister also considers that MiCA provides for a proper initial basis for regulating the crypto sector and has the potential to evolve into a more comprehensive regulatory regime. The Minister expects that the current crypto-related issues will significantly be reduced thanks to MiCAR.

Finally, the Minister notes that even though MiCA does not apply yet, other existing rules do already apply. In this regard, the Minister refers to the applicability of criminal law in case of crypto-related fraud and to consumer law in case of misleading or aggressive sales practices by crypto firms.