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ESMA launches call for evidence on distributed ledger technology

04 January 2022

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, today publishes a call for evidence on distributed ledger technology (DLT). The call for evidence seeks input from stakeholders on the use of DLT for trading and settlement and on the need for amending the regulatory technical standards (RTS) on regulatory reporting and transparency requirements.

The Regulation on a pilot regime for market infrastructures based on DLT (DLT Pilot) requires ESMA to assess whether the RTS developed under MiFIR relative to certain pre-and post-trade transparency and data reporting requirements need to be amended in order to be effectively applied to securities issued, traded and recorded on DLT. The areas covered in the call include:

  • RTS 1 (equity transparency);
  • RTS 2 (non-equity transparency);
  • RTS 3 (double volume cap and provision of data); and
  • RTS on data reporting requirements – i.e. RTS 22 (transaction reporting), RTS 23 (reference data), RTS 24 (order record keeping), and RTS 25 (clock synchronisation).

In addition, in relation to the transaction reporting exemption, the call for evidence seeks stakeholders’ views on possible effective ways to allow regulators’ access to information on:

  • transactions; 
  • financial instruments’ reference data; and
  • transparency data

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.

Next steps

Stakeholders are invited to provide comments by 4 March 2022. Based on the feedback received, ESMA will consider whether amendments to the RTS are necessary. If amendments are necessary, ESMA will consult on its proposal before submitting the final draft RTS to the European Commission for adoption.

The DLT Pilot is expected to apply in early 2023.