Smaller cryptocurrency exchanges and start-ups could benefit from the European Union’s Markets in Crypto-assets (MiCA) regulation, according to Martin Bruncko, Binance’s executive vice president of Europe.
Cointelegraph had a one-on-one interview with Martin Bruncko during the Web Summit conference in Lisbon early in November 2022. Heading up Binance’s operations across Europe, Bruncko offered unique insights into the exchange’s growth across the continent and its perspective on the regulatory environment.
The European Parliament Committee passed the MiCA crypto policy on Oct. 10, which aims to create a one-size-fits-all regulatory framework for the industry across the 27 countries that make up the European Union.
Bruncko told Cointelegraph that the European crypto landscape is currently fragmented, with all 27 countries in Europe having different regulatory regimes ranging from “fairly restrictive to non-existent.” This has led to time-consuming and financially demanding requirements for exchanges to ensure that they are fully compliant in different jurisdictions:
“This is exactly the issue right now and this is why we’re actually, I would say almost excited about MiCA, because it’s creating a single market.”
Bruncko stressed that the current landscape hamstrung smaller players that were looking to scale across the continent, given the costs of ensuring compliance across different borders:
“In principle, it’s good news for every crypto player in Europe because, again, now you can just operate within one single market. It’s just making it so much easier to grow your business, to scale your business with much less cost.”
Bruncko also believes that early-stage crypto companies will also benefit from the legislation by being able to focus on growth rather than legal and compliance considerations.
Europe remains a focal point for Binance, which views the continent as one of the largest and most advanced crypto economies in the world. Given that financial innovation and leading fintechs are centered in Europe, Bruncko stressed that the wider region will continue to be an important operational space for the exchange:
“A lot of major crypto projects were started out of Europe. If you take Ethereum, it effectively started in London, Switzerland and a bunch of other places. Ever since then, we’ve had a huge amount of various successful, influential projects coming out of Europe.”
Bruncko said that Binance has been pushing to ensure regulatory compliance across Europe over the past year. The exchange is regulated in five European countries, including two G7 members.