EU Parliament has approved a proposal to launch a digital currency task force to monitor the rapid proliferation of the technology within Europe. Today’s vote passed with 542 Members of Parliament voting in favor, 51 voting against, and 11 abstentions, according to a European Parliament News article.
The report, calling for the formation of the task force, was first introduced in February of this year by Jakob von Weizsäcker, a members of the EU Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs. In addition to calling for the formation of the task force, the report also recommended that all online virtual currency wallet providers be brought under existing EU anti-money laundering rules.
Weizsäcker’s report also cautioned lawmakers to not overburden blockchain and digital currency innovators with an aggressive regulatory approach, which may result in unnecessary obstacles for startups in the nascent industry.
Jakob von Weizsäcker clarified today:
“To avoid stifling innovation, we favour precautionary monitoring rather than pre-emptive regulation. But IT innovations can spread very rapidly and become systemic. That’s why we call on the Commission to establish a taskforce to actively monitor how the technology evolves and to make timely proposals for specific regulation if, and when, the need arises”,
Today’s parliamentary vote was preceded by several other key events. On the 26th of April, Weizsäcker’s report passed a vote by the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs. Additionally, on the 22nd of April, the report was voted on by the EU Internal Market for Consumer Protection Committee, where Lithuanian MEP Antanas Guoga urged lawmakers to familiarize themselves with bitcoin and its underlying technology.
Now that the proposal has passed a vote in the EU Parliament, the European Commission will have to review the measure.
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