Brussels, Belgium—The European Union seeks to reach an agreement over cryptocurrency regulation.

EU financial regulators and finance ministers have been monitoring and discussing the steady growth of crypto assets with some concern.  Now, they are pushing toward an agreement on how to regulate the emerging market.

“Currently there is a diversity of approaches, but at some point, we need to forge an approach,” said an EU official following another inconclusive meeting.

It is the lack of transparency that worries EU decision-makers and regulators the most. Money-laundering is on the rise on the Continent. Russian oligarchs, particularly, are suspected of manipulating the fluid crypto assets market to their advantage.

“To combat money laundering effectively, Europe needs a European anti-money laundering authority,” said Sven Giegold, a German member of the European Parliament.

The principal crypto assets are the digital currencies (for example, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, among others). However, crypto assets also contain Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), which are bought in exchange for utility tokens or securities tokens.

In 2018 alone, the ICOs market is valued at around $18 billion, a marked increase from the last two years (in 2017, the market’s value was almost $6 billion, and in 2016, only a few hundred million).

Recently, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) conducted an investigation into the status of crypto assets within each member-state. The research’s primary aim was to determine if eurozone countries perceive digital currency as a financial asset or not; the study’s secondary objective was to determine if current EU regulations could be applied to crypto assets.