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Belgian foreign minister calls for crypto ban

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Belgian foreign minister calls for crypto ban

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An EU member of parliament has recently tweeted that he believes an EU-wide ban should be imposed on crypto.

In a tweet from March 17, Johan Van Overtveldt, a former finance minister of Belgium and current member of the European Parliament, urged for a total ban on cryptocurrencies amid the recent turmoil in the banking sector.

“Another lesson to be learned from the current banking commotion. Enforce a strict ban on cryptocurrencies,” Van Overtveldt tweeted, adding that crypto provides “no economic or social value.”

“If a government bans drugs, it should also ban crypto,” he speculated, alluding to new fears stemming from the distress to Silvergate and Silicon Valley Bank, which has since spread to European markets, sending shares of banks like Credit Suisse plunging to record lows.

The comments come after a special Basel Committee on banking has recommended that banks develop protocols for holding and maintaining both Bitcoin and stablecoins by 2025.

Van Overtveldt, who serves as the economic spokesperson for a group of 64 EU lawmakers, made the remarks as the European Parliament is gearing up to vote on significant crypto licensing regulations for the bloc.

Johan Van Overtveldt’s anti-crypto stance

Since 2013, he has been a member of the New Flemish Alliance party and was elected to the European Parliament in 2014. He became the Minister of Finance in the Michel Government in 2014 and, following the 2019 elections, returned to the European Parliament, where he currently chairs the Committee on Budgets and serves as rapporteur on the Multi-annual Financial Framework.

Next month, the EU parliament’s lawmakers are scheduled to meet and discuss crypto regulation. The regulation is expected to provide a structure for wallet providers and exchanges that adhere to governance and consumer protection standards.

According to Van Overtveldt, who is spearheading parliament’s efforts to pass a law allowing for the trading of securities on distributed ledger technology, the technology does have “enormous potential” to enhance productivity but warns that many of the speculative projects that enter finance through crypto, tends to hurt consumers.

Basel committee

The upcoming banking legislation in the European Union includes a range of stringent capital regulations for banks that possess cryptocurrencies.

According to a report by Reuters on February 20th, the Basel Committee, comprised of banking regulators from significant financial hubs globally, has set a deadline of January 2025 for implementing capital standards for banks that hold cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and stablecoins:

“For the time being, banks have very low crypto-asset exposures and only a limited involvement in providing crypto-asset-related services. Banks have expressed interest in trading crypto-assets on behalf of their clients and to provide crypto-assets-related services. From an international perspective, it would also allow the EU to fully align itself with the implementation deadline agreed on at Basel level.”

 



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