European Union Pushes Away Bitcoin Regulation for Now

The European Union is not in a hurry to introduce Bitcoin regulations in its territory, decided the lawmakers earlier today. The news comes as a relief to many bitcoin users and businesses in the region. After a long discussion about the introduction of Bitcoin regulations in the European Union, the lawmakers have decided not to snuff-out innovation in the segment by premature legal interference. This move comes as a relief for the regional Bitcoin ecosystem, which has recently gained impressive adoption in the recent days. Bitcoin and its underlying technology have been making a lot of waves in the recent days, especially with the global banking sector showing interest in the digital currency technology. According to Jakob von Weizsaecker, the German center-left member of European Parliament, the overall potential of blockchain technology is not understood yet. Without complete knowledge about its importance, regulating the technology at this juncture may turn out to be more harmful than expected. While his report is of non-binding nature, it will definite let the precedent for the future discussions on blockchain technology and Bitcoin in Europe. There has been lot of positive developments in European Union’s view of Bitcoin and its underlying technology. Except for the recent calls for regulations, the European Court of Justice has in multiple occasions ruled in favor of the digital currency. The judicial body had recently announced that Bitcoin exchanges enjoy the same privileges and tax concessions as any other foreign exchange/currency conversion platforms. At the same time, the European Central Bank has been proactively involved in blockchain based research as well. In an interview with Reuters, one of the executive board members of European Central Bank, Yves Mersch says – “From a central bank perspective, in the context of our strategic reflections on the future of the Eurosystem’s market infrastructures, we are certainly open to new technologies and, like many market players, have launched some experimental work with distributed ledger technology. “ Unlike other banking majors, the European Central Bank is not a member of the banking consortium or any other collaborative efforts involved in exploring the use of blockchain technology. The European Central Bank will most probably be exploring the blockchain based decentralized ledger technology in an independent capacity. It is already established by Santander, a banking and financial major that the adoption of blockchain technology into regular banking operations will help the banks save millions of dollars every year on regulatory and compliance costs. In another good news, the leading European Bitcoin exchange, Bitstamp is now a registered financial service in the European Union after it received a license from the government of Luxembourg. The new financial license issued by the region, which is part of the European Union allows Bitstamp to legally operate across the European Union as a financial service company. Bitstamp will soon be commencing its operations from the month of July. The positive outlook towards Bitcoin and Blockchain technology exhibited by the European Union is encouraging and it will be one of the major contributing factors for the growth of Bitcoin ecosystem.
Ref: Reuters | ECB | Image: The Telegraph UK
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