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DLT Pilot Regime

The DLT Pilot Regime introduces a temporary pilot regime for market infrastructures that facilitate trading and/or settlement based on distributed ledger technology (DLT). From 23 March 2023, you can submit an application to the AFM under the DLT Pilot Regime.

Legal certainty and flexibility

Regulation (EU) 2022/858 aims to offer market participants that wish to operate a DLT infrastructure legal certainty and flexibility by laying down uniform requirements for its operation. DLT market infrastructures may only admit to trading or record DLT financial instruments on a distributed ledger. DLT financial instruments should be crypto-assets that qualify as financial instruments and which are issued, transferred and stored on a distributed ledger.

Given the as yet limited experience, the EU has opted for a pilot regime. The DLT Pilot Regime will apply for a period of three years, whereupon the European supervisory authority (ESMA) will report to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. Based on this report, it will be decided whether the pilot regime under this Regulation is to be extended, expanded, amended, made permanent or terminated.

Permission required

Institutions wishing to operate under the DLT Pilot Regime require permission to do so. Permissions granted under this Regulation may enable particular market participants to operate a DLT market infrastructure and provide their services in all Member States. The Regulation distinguishes between three different variants:

- DLT multilateral trading facilities (DLT MTF);
- DLT settlement systems (DLT SS); and
- DLT trading and settlement systems (DLT TSS).

The permission can be requested by institutions operating a multilateral trading facility (MTF) that are already authorised as a bank or non-bank investment firm or market operator, or by institutions authorised as a central securities depository (CSD). Institutions that are not yet authorised as such will be required to apply for this authorisation simultaneously and may be granted an exemption from certain requirements if they opt to operate under the Pilot Regime.

Permission and notifications

Your application for specific permission should be submitted to us. Particular changes to your business operations may affect this permission. The Regulation sets out what you are required to notify to us.

On the ‘Forms’ page of ESMA's website, you will find the ‘Guidelines on standard forms, formats and templates’. The annexes to the Guidelines contain the information and tables you need when applying for specific permission. Please submit the completed application forms and tables, notifications and any associated additional information to the AFM in English (on a permanent data carrier) via the email address Markttoegang_AM@afm.nl. You will find the application form and the tables under the ‘Related links’ on the right of this page. We request that you use Cryptshare to ensure a safe exchange of data. If you are considering operating a DLT market infrastructure, we would first like to have an exploratory interview with you.

Processing time limit

The statutory time limit for processing your application is 90 days from the date of receipt of a complete application. If you are also applying for authorisation as a bank or non-bank investment firm or market operator operating a multilateral trading facility, or for authorisation as a central securities depository, the processing time limit may be extended by the statutory time limit for such an application (you can find this time limit in the sections on our website about the relevant sectors).

Costs and supervision

The AFM charges a fee of €200 per hour for work undertaken by the AFM, subject to a maximum of €100,000 per application.

Institutions that have obtained permission under the DLT Pilot Regime must abide by various rules. The AFM supervises compliance with these rules.