On June 2, 2016, ESMA published a discussion paper on how distributed ledger technology (including, for example, “blockchains”) applies to the securities markets. ESMA is assessing the risks posed by DLT as well as the benefits and key challenges of DLT for securities markets. ESMA’s paper provides an analysis of the applicable EU regulatory framework, focusing on legislation for post-trading activities, which include the European Market Infrastructure Regulation, the Settlement Finality Directive and the Central Securities Depositories Regulation.

Responses to the discussion paper are invited by September 2, 2016. ESMA will assess the feedback to develop its position on the use of DLT in the securities markets and to assess the need for a regulatory response.

The discussion paper is available at:

https://www.esma.europa.eu/press-news/esma-news/esma-assesses-usefulness-distributed-ledger-technologies