Members of European Parliament Agree Cryptocurrency Has Come to Stay

Sorin Moisa[1], Member of European Parliament[2], has emphatically stated that cryptocurrencies are here to stay. Moisa opened a discussion at a policy dialogue organised by ORCA Alliance[3] and EU40 [4]at the European Parliament on Saturday in Brussels. He maintained what is needed at the moment is a clear-cut policy framework and regulation[5]:

“The policy response should be aimed at eliminating the impostors and revision of the Anti-Money Laundering Directive which will help to kick-start this process. Regulating ICOs is also an area worth considering since they should respect EU security-related frameworks. With regard to monetary policy, it is difficult to understand what adjustments, if any, is required to be made to respond to these developments.”

Policy definitions

When MEP Eva Kaili[6] took her turn, she agreed entirely with her colleague and insisted that cryptocurrencies will increase decentralization[7] and make intermediaries less relevant. She suggested that on the issue of definitions, decision-makers need to wait for developers and the market more generally to make the necessary tests.

Peteris Zilgalvis[8], Head of Unit – Startups and Innovation, DG CONNECT[9] at the European Commission, pointed out that the Commission is approaching this from the pro-innovation standpoint. He accentuated that the Commission is also looking at Blockchain’s use in sectors beyond finance.

He revealed:

“The Blockchain Observatory will be launched in January 2018 and will see a close collaboration with innovators and look at the different use cases of cryptocurrency and decide whether it will be worth intervening or leaving the market alone. The FinTech Action Plan to be published in March 2018 will also touch upon this issue.”

Tadas Langaitis[10], Member of the Lithuanian Parliament and Chair of the Digital Economy Committee, indicated that providing guidelines on Cryptocurrency is very pertinent and will lead to mass adoption in the European Union. Tadas, who has been travelling around the world promoting Blockchain technologies, believes this will make it easy for people to join the Bitcoin revolution.

Other issues tackled at the meeting include moving policy dialogue with the authorities beyond the national level. It was highlighted that the should be more locus on transaction volumes and not only at price fluctuations.

Event’s focus

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Dmitrij Radin, CTO of ORCA Alliance, explained the event was intended to shed light on regulatory holes in the space, such as the lack of clear definitions. In his view, without adapted rules concerning cryptocurrency, there is a peril of fragmentation and of double standards vis-à-vis other regulated payment methods.

Dmitrij declared:

“At the same time, the industry believes it would be important to have some guidelines, if not a legislative framework, to make sure that these new means of payments are recognized as a legitimate tool. The cryptocurrency community awaits further guidance from decision-makers to make sure that they ‘tick the necessary boxes’ and avoid ending up in a grey area from a legal perspective.”

Some of the industry players who attended the forum include:

Sarah Compani, Legal Advisor, Bitfinex

Craig Sellars, Co-Founder and CTO, Tether

Anastasija Plotnikova, Legal Adviser, ETHLend

Martins Liberts, Co-Founder, Debitum Network

Marius Parescius, Initiator, Business Hive Vilnius

Natan Avidan, Founder, ORCA Alliance

Jeremy Gardner, Founder, Augu.