On April 22, 2015, the European Securities and Markets Authority published a call for evidence on investment using virtual currency or distributed ledger technology. ESMA has been monitoring virtual currency investment to understand market developments, the potential benefits and risks for investors and potential issues for market integrity and financial stability. ESMA sets out its analysis in the paper and requests feedback on three particular topics: (i) virtual currency investment products, such as collective investment schemes or derivatives that have virtual currencies as an underlying or which invest in virtual currency businesses; (ii) virtual currency based assets, securities and asset transfers; and (iii) the application of distributed ledger technology to securities. ESMA is not proposing regulatory action at this stage but will continue to monitor investments using virtual currencies or distributed ledger technology to assist national regulators in keeping up to date with market developments. In July 2014, the European Banking Authority published an opinion proposing a potential regulatory regime for virtual currencies and advising national regulators to “discourage” financial institutions from buying, holding or selling them until a regulatory regime is in place.

The call for evidence is available at:

http://www.esma.europa.eu/news/ESMA-seeking-information-new-developments-virtual-currency-investment?t=326 &o=home