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Virtual currencies find support in the European Parliament

21 April 2016

Virtual currencies find support in the European Parliament

Ulrike Trebesius MEP on innovation in the financial technology sector.

“Europe needs innovation and we need to keep the innovators in Europe and enable them to reach commercial success” said Ulrike Trebesius, MEP of the German ALFA-Delegation in the Group of European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), after her report on virtual currencies was passed with a huge majority in the Committee for the internal market and consumer protection today.

Central to the debate was the question whether virtual currencies should be seen as a driver for growth and innovation or as a potential danger in areas like money laundering, tax evasion or terror financing.
“As there has been little evidence of illegal usage of virtual currencies the position I advocated for is to allow the users decide which technologies they are willing to trust”, said Trebesius.

“Maximum transparency of the providers of virtual currencies in areas of technological security, the securitisation with underlying assets, knowledge about the operators and potential risks are the building cornerstones of effective virtual currencies and they guarantee that the users can make an informed decision.
Given the global nature of virtual currencies, potential risks should be answered by applying international standards of regulation but not necessarily European legislation. The report asks the European Commission to continue to monitor the sector either with a newly created “task force” or by expanding an existing one.

Finally there was consensus in the Committee to observe and support the development of “digital ledger technologies” for other applications.
“It has been a great success to get our innovation, business and technology-friendly approach through the Committee”.

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