Germany Introduces Crypto e-Stocks Bill

Thursday 13 August 2020, 12:07 AM AEST - 1 month ago

Frankfurt, Germany

Germanys Finance Ministry has published a draft bill that aims to place stocks issued on public or private blockchain on the same footing as stocks issued through traditional means.

In line with the overarching principles of capital market laws, such as technological neutrality and proportionality, the bill sets up no preferential specifications for individual register techniques so that the market can develop and offer innovative solutions, the Ministry said.

The requirement for stocks or government bonds to have a paper certificate will soon no longer apply in Germany with stock issuers able to maintain their own register based on blockchain technology.

The approach proposed in the draft pragmatically combines future-oriented technology with the long-standing legal and regulatory framework for securities, said Frank Dornseifer, the managing director of Bundesverband Alternative Investments eV (BAI) which represents the interests of the alternative investment industry in Germany.

The bill provides that for crypto securities, also called e-Securities, the requirement of a paper‑based note is replaced by the entry of the e-Securities into a register operated by a supervised entity.

The register may be a central register that must be operated by a central securities depositary (CSD) under a CSD license.

Alternatively, the register may also be a decentralized register, a so-called crypto security register (Kryptowertpapierregister), in order to permit the issuance of blockchain-based e-Securities as security tokens, which the Bill refers to as crypto securities and treats as a sub-category of e-Securities.

The bill also allows the conversion of old stocks into a tokenized form and vice versa, with a license required by their regulator, BaFin, to issue the stocks, as well as a capital requirement of 730,000 euros.

However, there is still a need to clarify details, but this is exactly what the consultation process that has just started aims to do, Dornseifer said.

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