IOSCO Sets the Standard for Global Crypto Regulation

IOSCO, the global standard setter for securities markets, has issued for consultation detailed recommendations to jurisdictions across the globe as to how to regulate crypto assets. It consists of 18 measures to cover conflicts of interest, market manipulation, cross-border regulatory cooperation, custody of crypto assets, operational risks, and treatment of retail customers.

IOSCO Sets the Standard for Global Crypto Regulation
IOSCO Sets the Standard for Global Crypto Regulation

In a major initiative designed to improve global standards of regulation of crypto-assets, IOSCO has set out how clients should be protected and how crypto trading should meet the standards that apply in public markets.

The Recommendations cover six key areas, consistent with the IOSCO Objectives and Principles for Securities Regulation and relevant supporting IOSCO standards, recommendations, and good practices:

1) Conflicts of interest arising from the vertical integration of activities and functions,

2) Market manipulation, insider trading and fraud,

3) Cross-border risks and regulatory cooperation;

4) Custody and client asset protection,

5) Operational and technological risk,

and 6) Retail access, suitability, and distribution.

Jean-Paul Servais, Chairperson of IOSCO said: “As the G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank communiqué of 13 May has once again reminded us, the time has come to put an end to the regulatory uncertainty that characterises crypto activities. Today’s consultation paper received unanimous support from the IOSCO Board and is the outcome of an intense period of regulatory risk analysis, information sharing and capacity building. As such, it will mark a turning point in addressing the very clear and proximate risks to investor protection and market integrity risks.

With 130 members around the world regulating more than 95% of the world’s securities markets, IOSCO is best positioned to deliver an effective and globally consistent set of policy recommendations. The strong support of the IOSCO Board will ensure the timely implementation of the recommendations by all IOSCO members to limit the risk of regulatory arbitrage. Strengthened cooperation between our members while supervising these markets through a global framework will contribute to protecting investors better and to credible deterrence of non-compliant actors.”

LIM Tuang Lee, Chairperson of the IOSCO Board-Level Fintech Task Force, set up to develop the policy recommendations, said: “The Recommendations in IOSCO’s Consultation Report set expectations and guardrails to regulate and supervise crypto-asset markets, which are inherently cross-border in nature. Crypto-asset service providers need to address unacceptable conflicts of interest and take far more seriously the right of clients to have their monies and assets carefully minded and accounted for. It is time for Regulators to work together across borders and various jurisdictions to ensure that investor protection and market integrity are upheld in crypto-asset markets.”

IOSCO has opened a public consultation on its recommendations and aims to finalise them by the end of the year. Thereafter, it expects that jurisdictions will review their current regulatory frameworks to ensure that they comply with the standards and fix any gaps promptly.

IOSCO is the leading international policy forum for securities regulators and is recognized as the global standard-setter for securities regulation. The organization’s membership regulates more than 95% of the world’s securities markets in some 130 jurisdictions, and it continues to expand.