Economic policies

The European Commission has discussed the development of blockchain technology and how cryptocurrencies fit into international economic policies in a series of speeches

Commissioner of the European Commission Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel said “think blockchain” at the Digital-Life Design Conference in Munich as she determined how regulation and taxation should be applied when asking, “How do we make sure that technology serves us, helps our problems and reduce our economic societal divides?”

Gabriel’s speech mentioned promoting equality, unification and a cooperative investment in “technologies of the future…to make sure that Europe has access to the latest know-how and can take part in the next round of technological development and competition at the global level.”

A second speech made by Vice President of the European Commission’s Euro and Social Dialogue Project, Valdis Dombrovskis, at a Brussels press conference for ECOFIN, discussed: “In terms of financial services legislation: I made some suggestions on how the EU should approach cryptocurrencies.

“Make no mistake: We want Europe to embrace the opportunities of blockchain, the technology underlying cryptocurrencies.

“But to do so, we must be vigilant and prevent cryptocurrencies from becoming a token of unlawful behaviour.”

Dombrovskis went on to say that, in December, he sent a letter to the European Supervisory Authorities (ESA) requesting that they “update their warning from the financial stability and investor protection perspective,” in regards to the corrupt use of cryptocurrencies.

He added, “Cryptocurrencies may have ramifications for many other areas, including for central banks. That’s why I intend to bring together key authorities and the private sector in a high-level roundtable very shortly to assess the longer term situation beyond the current market trends.”

Last year, the ESA issues a report that questioned the security infrastructure of blockchain-based systems, citing regulatory setbacks.

Dombrovskis affirmed that the new AML rules, “will put cryptocurrency exchanges and custodial wallet providers within the scope of money laundering supervision.

“That means less anonymity and more traceability, through better customer identification and strong due diligence.”


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