LONDON Feb 7 No specific European Union rules
are needed to regulate blockchain for the time being given the
sector's still limited reach, the bloc's securities watchdog
said on Tuesday.
The conclusion from the European Securities and Markets
Authority (ESMA) following a public consultation, is likely to
be welcomed by the growing financial technology sector.
"At this stage, it is premature to fully assess the changes
that the technology could bring and the regulatory response that
may be needed, given that the technology is still evolving and
practical applications are limited both in number and scope,"
ESMA said in a statement.
Blockchain, which first emerged as the system underpinning
the cryptocurrency bitcoin, provides a shared record of
transactions that is maintained by a network of computers,
rather than a centralized authority.
Banks and stock exchanges are piling into the sector in the
hope that using blockchain can cut costs.
(Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Alexander Smith)