Public Hearing on Virtual Currencies by ECON Committee

Feb 1, 2016

The ECON Committee held a public hearing on Virtual Currencies on Monday 25 January at 15.00, in order to prepare its upcoming own-initiative (INI) report (rapporteur: Jakob von Weizsaecker, S&D/DE). Panellists included representatives from the European Commission (DG FISMA) and the OECD, academia and stakeholders from the private sector. The hearing was webstreamed on the ECON committee website as part of the ordinary committee meeting.

The central idea discussed during the meeting was the role of virtual currencies in abetting illegal activities such as money laundering and terrorism funding.  The ECON policy-makers took a balanced and careful consideration of the impact of virtual currencies and crypto-technologies, taking into account both the advantages and underlying risks of using the technology.

According to hearsay, it seems that there were no regulators at the hearing. The policy-makers on the panel and the legislators on the parliamentary committee seemed, largely, not to want to rush into legislative action and risk stifling innovation (source: cointelegraph.com).

The public hearing was a part of the process of preparing a report of the ECON committee. It remains to be seen what will be the outcome of the report and what recommendations it will propose, if any.

Author:

Sandra Leonie Ritter

Sandra Leonie Ritter is co-founder and CEO of Leondrino Exchange, Inc. and is an experienced serial entrepreneur. Together with Peter Reuschel, she was looking for a revolutionary way to finance upcoming artists with great potential and to turn them into global stars. This idea of creating a new financing option for music brands led to the Leondrino Concept for brands of all industries and the founding of Leondrino Exchange. She has a background as professional musician.