Crypto should be banned in the same way that governments ban drugs, Johan Van Overtveldt, a member of the European Parliament and the former Minister of Finance of Belgium, said in a tweet.
His controversial sentiments quickly sparked a heated response on the social media platform, including that from Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson.
Van Overtveldt’s remarks come in the wake of the recent failures of three U.S. banks – Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank, and Silvergate Bank – calling digital assets “speculative poison.”
Crypto Has ‘No Economic, Social Value?’
As the European Parliament gears up for a crucial vote on revolutionary digital asset licensing regulations for the European Union, Van Overtveldt, who serves as the economic representative for a coalition of 64 EU legislators, expressed his views on the matter.
“If a government bans drugs, it should also ban crypto,” Van Overtveldt tweeted. He also reduced such assets to having “no economic or social value.”
Nog een les te trekken uit de huidige bankcommotie. Leg een strikt verbod op cryptocurrencies op. Speculatief gif en geen enkele economische- of sociale toegevoegde waarde. Als een overheid drugs verbiedt, moet ze ook crypto’s verbieden.
— Johan Van Overtveldt (@jvanovertveldt) March 17, 2023
The EU is still in the process of implementing a comprehensive regulatory framework for its digital currency industry. This legislative package, known as Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA), was approved by EU institutions and member states in the summer of last year.
Its aim is to establish a set of guidelines for cryptocurrency service providers operating within the 27 member countries of the bloc.
Charles Hoskinson Reacts
Meanwhile, Charles Hoskinson, the creator of the Cardano blockchain, has expressed his perspective on politicians who are attributing the downfall of major U.S. banks solely to cryptocurrencies.
In response to an article covering Van Overtveldt’s proposal to ban these digital asset types, he implored the virtual currency community to remain steadfast and compile a record of politicians who oppose it. By doing so, come election time, they will have the knowledge necessary to select only candidates who support crypto.
The central banks and politicians created this banking crisis and now they are blaming crypto https://t.co/LjUou7TTgm don’t fall for it and keep a list to remember at the ballot box when election time comes. Be a single issue crypto voter
— Charles Hoskinson (@IOHK_Charles) March 17, 2023
As the repercussions of the banking crisis continue to unravel, numerous U.S. legislators have asserted that the interconnections between financial institutions and bitcoin companies played a role in their downfall.
The events began with Silvergate’s decision to liquidate voluntarily on March 8, followed by Silicon Valley Bank on March 10, as a bank run ensued. New York regulators then took over Signature Bank on March 12.
Several EU politicians have also recently taken aim at cryptocurrency, citing concerns about its potential to facilitate illicit activities such as money laundering and terrorism financing. Others have expressed similar sentiments as Van Overtveldt, arguing that cryptocurrency’s anonymity and lack of regulation make it a prime target for criminals.
These criticisms have sparked a heated debate within the EU over the role of bitcoin and other digital currencies in the modern economy and its potential risks and benefits.
-Featured image from Reuters