A European lawmaker has urged authorities to impose a ban on cryptocurrencies citing the current crisis in the banking sector as a reason. Johan Van Overtveldt, former finance minister of Belgium, believes these assets bring no economic or social value.
Belgium’s Ex-Finance Minister Suggests Ban on Decentralized Digital Currencies
Member of the European Parliament, Johan Van Overtveldt, has insisted that governments should prohibit cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. His call comes amid a crisis sparked by the failure of several banking institutions, including two crypto-friendly banks in the U.S.
“Another lesson to be learned from the current banking commotion. Enforce a strict ban on cryptocurrencies,” the lawmaker, who has previously praised blockchain technology, tweeted on Friday. “Speculative poison and no economic or social added value. If a government bans drugs, it should also ban cryptos,” he argued.
Van Overtveldt is a Belgian journalist and politician from the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) party, who served as his country’s minister of finance between 2014 and 2018, in the government of Prime Minister Charles Michel.
He was elected to the European Parliament in 2019 where he has been chairing the Committee on Budgets and represents the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group in the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON).
ECR is a soft Eurosceptic, anti-federalist political group in the EU’s legislature. Free enterprise, minimal regulation, lower taxation, along with “small government as the ultimate catalysts for individual freedom and personal and national prosperity” are among its founding principles.
Overtveldt’s statement regarding cryptocurrencies follows the collapse of three U.S. banks, two of which were involved in the crypto space, Silvergate Bank and Silicon Valley Bank. The consequences of these failures reached Europe, affecting Credit Suisse, a major investment bank on the Old Continent.
Europe is yet to comprehensively regulate its crypto economy by enforcing a legislative package called Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA). EU institutions and member states agreed on the proposal last summer. It introduces rules for crypto service providers across the 27-strong bloc.
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Do you think Johan Van Overtveldt has a reason to make a call for a crypto ban? Tell us in the comments section below.
Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.
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