The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) released its report on trends, risk and vulnerabilities on Thursday, raising concerns on cryptocurrencies’ volatility seen over the first half of 2021. According to the paper, the ‘massive price swings’ witnessed in crypto assets over such a period is a matter of concern for the regulator because of the increased risk-taking behavior ‘and possible market exuberance.’
Across the report, ESMA highlighted the market capitalization’s decline seen in the first quarter of the year with 40%, which in the words of the regulator, gives a broad picture of the high price volatility in the crypto sphere. Still, the European watchdog noted the following on the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector: “Meanwhile, Decentralised Finance continues to gain momentum. Finally, regulators’ engagement with FinTech through innovation hubs and regulatory sandboxes is becoming mainstream across the EU, with benefits for both parties.”
But, ESMA continued to elaborate on the risks that the crypto market currently brings in terms of valuations. In fact, the regulator pointed out that ‘current trends need to show resilience over an extended period of time for a more positive assessment.’
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“New online tools provide estimates of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies’ energy consumption and promote the discussion of the sustainability of proof-of-work-based blockchain in general. Estimates vary, but they agree that the carbon footprint of cryptocurrencies is far from negligible,” ESMA said on the virtual currencies’ impact on the environment.
This report is aligned with the recent risk assessment that ESMA unveiled in June through its first Risk Dashboard (RD) for 2021. Finance Magnates reported that the EU’s securities market regulator foresees an extended period of risk due to market corrections fueled by economic fundamentals.
Fixed income valuations are now far above their pre-coronavirus levels, said ESMA, which can be attributed partly to the continued monetary policy support by the European Central Bank (ECB).