Innovation and Products

Investment using virtual currency or distributed ledger technology

ESMA has been monitoring and analysing virtual currency investment over the last 6 months, to understand developments in the market, potential benefits or risks for investors, market integrity or financial stability, and to support the functioning of the EU single market.

ESMA’s analysis is set out in this paper. ESMA is seeking to share its analysis in order to promote wider understanding of innovative market developments, and invites market participants and other stakeholders to submit feedback and any additional information on the following topics:

Press Release - Investment-based crowdfunding needs EU-wide common approach

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published an Opinion along with an Advice on Investment-based crowdfunding. The Opinion clarifies the EU rules applicable to crowdfunding, while the Advice highlights issues for consideration by the EU institutions to achieve greater regulatory and supervisory convergence within the EU.The Opinion is addressed to the national competent authorities (NCA) and provides clarity on how crowdfunding business models fit within the existing EU regulatory framework.

Advice - Investment-based crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a means of raising finance for projects from ‘the crowd’ often by means of an internet-based platform through which project owners ‘pitch’ their idea to potential backers, who are typically not professional investors.  It takes many forms, not all of which involve the potential for a financial return.  ESMA’s focus is on crowdfunding which involves investment, as distinct from donation, non-monetary reward or loan agreement.Crowdfunding is relatively young and business models are evolving.

Opinion - Investment-based crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a means of raising finance for projects from ‘the crowd’ often by means of an internet-based platform through which project owners ‘pitch’ their idea to potential backers, who are typically not professional investors.  It takes many forms, not all of which involve the potential for a financial return.  ESMA’s focus is on crowdfunding which involves investment, as distinct from donation, non-monetary reward or loan agreement.  Crowdfunding is relatively young and business models are evolving. EU financial services rules were not designed with the industry in mind.

Call for expressions of interest: Consultative Working Group for ESMA’s Financial Innovation Standing Committee

ESMA today launches a process to renew the composition of the Consultative Working Group (‘CWG’) for the Financial Innovation Standing Committee (’FISC’). ESMA is therefore calling for expressions of interest from stakeholders.
Application procedure, closing date
Relevant stakeholders meeting the required selection criteria and wishing to apply for a position on the CWG are invited to submit, in English:

Potential Risks Associated with Investing in Contingent Convertible Instruments

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is issuing this statement to clarify to institutional investors risks from a newly emerging asset class referred to by most market participants as contingent convertibles instruments (CoCos). If they work as intended in a crisis CoCos will play an important role to inhibit risk transfer from debt holders to taxpayers. They along with standards to improve the quality and quantity of bank capital reflect a considerate response to the former regulatory capital framework.

Structured Retail Products - Good practices for product governance arrangements

Legal basis
1.    Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010 (ESMA Regulation)  sets out the European Securities and Markets Authority’s (ESMA) scope of action, tasks and powers which include “enhancing customer protection”, and “foster[ing] investor protection”. 
2.    In order to continue delivering on this investor protection statutory objective, ESMA is issuing this opinion on certain aspects linked to the manufacturing and distribution of structured retail products (SRP). This opinion takes into account relevant work done in this field both at European and interna-tional level.