Money 20/20 Europe: Day two sees increased focus on regulation

Guests discussed MiCA, DORA, crypto regulation, and macro conditions.

In a short and information-packed speech, Vishal Sacheendran, MENA & Europe Director at Binance, described MiCA as a “regulation to rule them all”, that showed collaboration from regulators.

“This is now a legislation in place, where you have little room for national divergence, you have more clarity on how you should be going down the road, we have more collaboration from the regulator and we have a sense of how they’re going to regulate going forward,” he said.

“There is clarity on what the current state of the crypto market is, the kind of trading that happens, the custody that happens, financial derivatives that are going on – there’s clarity to an extent but it will have to be more pronounced as we move along until MiCA comes out in January 2025.”

Regulation facilitates innovation

In his time working for Abu Dhabi’s regulator, Sacheendran tested different technologies and helped develop one of the first frameworks for regulating crypto assets. The focus was on market manipulation, market abuse, custody requirements, AML, and CTF.

“People are having conversations now, regulators are happy to come on board and have a talk. We see regulators in the EU now opening the doors and having a conversation.”

Vishal Sacheendran, MENA & Europe Director, Binance

“It enables innovation, it fosters innovation – people are having conversations now, regulators are happy to come on board and have a talk. We see regulators in the EU now opening the doors and having a conversation,” he said. 


European Banking Authority Director of Innovation, Marilin Pikaro, outlined the Digital Operations Resilience Act (DORA), due to be implemented in January 2025.

The current consultation concerns “critical service providers”, which can be defined according to jurisdiction. Scope, scale, and type of service are all taken into consideration.

The Dora Deep Dive panel. Photo: Carmen Cracknell

“Based on the initial survey, the top 20 service providers are linked to financial service institutions in Europe, so concern most of the citizens’ money,” said Pikaro.

Asked about incident reporting, a key issue that has been criticized in financial services, Pikaro said it is important that contractors as well as service providers fall within the scope of DORA. This means outsourced compliance and audit services will therefore follow the same principles as a bank.

“We aim eventually to have full visibility on the related parties, not only financial institutions themselves, but third parties. There will be a designated list of these critical third parties that are subject to the oversight. For example, any ICT business involved in financial services. The role of the senior management and the board in all those entities will be significant. So board members will benefit from training sessions as they will have a key role in following DORA,” she said.

Host David Birch, Director of Consult Hyperion, stressed organizations need only ensure substantive compliance. He also expressed skepticism that DORA would be implemented within the two years as anticipated.

Other highlights

Several talks were focussed around carbon emissions. Nan Ransohoff, Head of Climate at Stripe, spoke on a $925m advanced market commitment to accelerate carbon removal, and discussed the challenges of carbon removal and opportunities for fintech startups to get involved. 

“There’s a 7x increase in carbon removal among companies who are clients in three years. You can think about what your business is uniquely equipped with to facilitate decarbonisation,” Ransohoff said.

Airwallex CEO Jack Zhang said embedded finance in particular was thriving, despite fintech layoffs and bad macro conditions.

Hiroki Takeuchi, CEO of GoCardless, and Mark Brant, Chief Payments Officer at NatWest, talked about the evolution of their industry-first partnership to provide Variable Recurring Payments (VRP).