The French Members of the European Parliament Seek to Ban Bitcoin Activities
The motion tabled on November 25 by three European Parliament members representing a French right-wing party seeks to grant the right to the EU member states “to exercise stricter controls over all virtual currency exchange transactions and even to prohibit them”.
The move follows the recent statements by French minister for finance, who stated that stricter oversight was required for cryptocurrency-related activities. This could probably be related to the assumption that the terrorists behind the Paris massacre could be funded via some untraceable methods, which might include bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
The motion’s movers, namely Dominique Bilde, Sophie Montel, and Florian Philippot, also state that virtual currency bears “certain similarities with a Ponzi scheme”, and refer to “anonymity” inherent in cryptocurrency operations.
Those statements, in their turn, bear certain similarities with those of some Russian officials, who had also compared digital currencies to a Ponzi scheme, and stated that its alleged anonymity could let criminals, terrorists, and insurgentes off the leash. Some members of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, even declared that cryptocurrencies were a CIA invention set to undermine Russian economy.
Ironically, the three authors exemplify Russia’s intent to criminalize cryptocurrency activities to justify their motion.
However, a new edition of the Administrative Violations Code submitted to the Duma, de-facto legalizes cryptocurrency operations in Russia. That being said, Russia could cease being a perfect example for right-wing politicians seeking to establish strict controls over digital currencies.
The full text of the motion is quite short, and may be found hereunder.
The European Parliament,
â€“ having regard to Rule 133 of its Rules of Procedure,
A. whereas the Court of Justice of the European Union stated in its judgment of 22 October 2015 that transactions involving the exchange of the virtual currency ‘bitcoin’ for traditional currencies should be exempted from VAT on the ground that the ‘bitcoin’ is neither a security confering a property right nor a security of a comparable nature;
B. whereas there is a high level of risk in the bitcoin system (mainly related to the anonymity involved) on account of the irreversibility of transactions, whereas it favours the first purchasers unduly (thereby creating gross inequalities) and it has certain similarities with a Ponzi scheme; whereas some countries, such as Russia, have decided to make some transactions involving virtual currencies a criminal offence, owing to the high risk of their being used for illegal purposes;
C. whereas some countries, such as Russia, have decided to make some transactions involving virtual currencies a criminal offence, owing to the high risk of their being used for illegal purposes;
1. Calls on the Commission to allow Member States to exercise stricter controls over all virtual currency exchange transactions and even to prohibit them;
2. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council and the Member States.
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