(f) Distributed ledger technology (Blockchain, cryptocurrencies)
Close attention is being paid to these new technologies across Europe and Luxembourg is no exception. On 14 February 2019 a new law was passed which aims to provide clarification on the proper use of distributed ledger technology by enhancing transparency and legal certainty for all financial market participants, as well as to allow for the transfer of securities using blockchain technology.
As yet there is no Luxembourg legislation on cryptocurrencies. However, the CSSF has issued guidelines in this regard, as follows:
- A CSSF press release on virtual currencies, published on 14 February 2014, defines ‘virtual currencies’ and clarifies the authorisation requirements when carrying out activities in the financial sector); and
- A CSSF warning on virtual currencies, published on 14 March 2018, highlights the risks associated with virtual currencies, sets out its recommendations for investors in acquiring virtual currencies, provides information for entities under its prudential supervision that use virtual currencies or provide services relating to virtual currencies, and includes warnings issued by the European supervisory authorities (i.e. European Banking Authority (EBA) and European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)).
Thus, cryptocurrencies as yet have no specific legal status under Luxembourg law. However, the CSSF and the government have both shown great interest in interacting with companies that have crypto-asset linked businesses to discuss their activities and help them to communicate effectively their legal concerns and potential opportunities.