EU Regulator Calls For Public Input on DLT for Trading and Settlement

Distributed ledger technology is increasingly gaining attention in Europe for its applications in securities trading and settlement.

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is seeking stakeholder input on the use of distributed ledger technology for securities trading and settlements. 

The European Union’s securities regulator recently published a “call for evidence” to invite stakeholders to share their feedback on the regulations for regulatory technical standards (RTS) on reporting and transparency on the DLT pilot expected to be implemented next year. 

Some of the main functions of ESMA are strengthening the protection for EU investors, enhancing financial markets and fostering cooperation between members. 

With the call for evidence, the EU regulator’s objective is to see whether regulatory standards concerning trade transparency and data reporting need to be revised to apply to tokenized securities running on DLT.

According to ESMA’s official website, the aim is to “ensure more efficient, secure and cost-effective management of the data stored on DLTs while preserving its quality, usability and comparability.”

Stakeholders are called to share their views on ways to provide regulators with information pertaining to “transactions, financial instruments data and transparency data.” 

After sending in the feedback, the EU regulator will determine whether amendments to the RTS are required. If so, the ESMA will once again consult before submitting a final draft to the European Commission for implementation.

In July 2021, the French government called on the ESMA to regulate activities and create uniform regulations related to digital assets within the European Union. The Autorité des marchés financiers noted that the establishment of regulations is a “prerequisite to a strong and autonomous European Union capable of competing at the global level.” 

Back in September 2021, the ESMA also published a report that cited increased risk-taking behavior and possible market exuberance as reasons for the volatility of crypto assets in the first half of 2021, raising concerns about investor protection.