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Right-Wing Reps Seek Bitcoin Powers in European Parliament

(@mpmcsweeney) | Published on December 22, 2015 at 19:13 GMT
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Three European Parliament representatives from a French right-wing political party filed a motion last month seeking to give member-states the power to regulate or even ban bitcoin activities.

The motion was filed on 25th November, according to a copy of the motion published on the European Parliament website.

The motion seeks approval from the European Commission – the executive arm of the European Union – to “allow Member States to exercise stricter controls over all virtual currency exchange transactions and even to prohibit them”.

Cited as justification is the recent decision by the European Court of Justice to exempt bitcoin trades from value-added tax, as well as moves by the Russian government to put restrictions on activities involving so-called money surrogates, including bitcoin.

The filing further states that such action is needed given “a high level of risk in the bitcoin system”, while also alleging that digital currencies possess “certain similarities with a Ponzi scheme”.

The motion’s three authors – Dominique BildeSophie Montel and Florian Philippot – are all members of France’s Front National. Bilde, Montel and Philippot did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The representatives, all of whom joined the European Parliament in 2014, aren’t the only French politicians with an eye on regulating digital currency activities more stringently.

Speaking to reporters last week ahead of a UN Security Council meeting on terrorist financing and the Islamic State, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin reportedly said that he would push for greater oversight of bitcoin transactions.

"Carrying bundles of cash in bags is no longer used. Terrorists have a capacity to use all the new technologies to transfer money around so we need together have identical rules in countries," Sapin said, according to Reuters.

Image via Shutterstock

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