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25th November 2022 > > Belgium.

tl;dr

Belgium is leading the good fight for crypto enthusiasts, whilst MetaMask lets itself down.


Market Wrap








Market Wrap

Markets are always a little jittery over Thanksgiving, with liquidity at its lowest across a range of risk markets.


Curious Cryptos’ Commentary - Belgium

Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) has issued a new report whose objective is “… to provide explanations of the most common cases where crypto-assets may fall within the scope of the prospectus rules and/or the MiFID conduct of business rules.” You can read the entire text here if you have already watched enough football this week:



Though this report does not determine rules and regulations regarding cryptos in Belgium, nor further afield, it is a potentially useful starting base for the implementation of MiCA (Markets in Crypto Assets), the flagship EU legislation expected to be implemented by 2024, a mere 18 months after the European Parliament, European Commission, and the European Council all agreed to its contents. I do rather wish civil servants had any concept of hard work, and deadlines, but I know I wish in vain.


The one key point the FSMA makes is this:


“If there is no issuer, as in cases where instruments are created by a computer code and this is not done in execution of an agreement between issuer and investor (for example, Bitcoin or Ether), then in principle the Prospectus Regulation, the Prospectus Law and the MiFID rules of conduct do not apply.”


What does this mean?


Let me interpret civil service speak for you, a task which is only slightly easier than translating Californian, which is littered with phrases like “living in myself”, and other nonsense, which bear no relationship to life or reality.


It means that BTC, ETH, and a plethora of other cryptos are not securities.


Way to go, Belgium.


I hope that a copy is sitting open on the desk of Gary Gensler, Chair of the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) as he contemplates losing the case against XRP (Ripple).


Curious Cryptos’ Commentary – Data collection

It seems that even supporters of the decentralised world cannot shake off the bad habits of the centralised world.


ConsenSys (https://consensys.net/) provides a suite of blockchain products that “… make it easy to build applications on Ethereum and participate in DeFi, NFTs, DAOs, and the metaverse”.


Amongst their products is Infura, an API-based tool that allows interaction with the Ethereum network, and MetaMask, one of the most widely used crypto wallets in the world, built on top of Infura.


MetaMask is an amazing product, though it does take a little technical knowledge to set up for blockchains other than Ethereum, and it does take a little experience to be confident dealing with dApps (decentralised applications).


ConsenSys has announced that Infura will now collect IP addresses and public keys for all transactions made on the Ethereum network when using MetaMask.


This is nuts, going against the whole philosophy of decentralisation.


And pointless too. I cannot believe for one moment that anyone still uses the internet without a VPN, and anti-tracking software. So, the IP address information is useless, and all transactions using ETH are recorded publicly on the blockchain.


But the motivation for this change is just one small example of how important it is for our privacy that the world increasingly adopts the decentralised model wherever it can.

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