On 21 December 2021, EU ambassadors endorsed the provisional political agreement, reached on 24 November 2021, between the Council Presidency and the European Parliament’s negotiators on a pilot regime for market infrastructures based on distributed ledger technology (DLT). The pilot regime, which sets out, among others, the conditions for acquiring the permission to operate a DLT market infrastructure, is aimed at testing the development of the European infrastructure for trading, clearing and settlement of DLT-based financial instruments. Crypto-assets are one of the main DLT applications for finance and a distributed ledger is a consensually shared database through which a transaction is validated.
A provisional agreement was reached on the following issues:
• the definition of the DLT market infrastructure;
• thresholds for the admission to trading or recording on a distributed ledger;
• the fact that national competent authorities will remain in charge for the authorisation while the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) can issue an opinion on the application;
• the fact that DLT operators will have mechanisms for handling clients’ complaints and their compensation.
This pilot regime will be in place for 3 years, after which the Commission should report to the Council and the Parliament on the costs and benefits of extending, modifying or ending it.

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