In a majority vote, the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs has voted to adopt its virtual currencies and blockchain report. The vote comes during a time when the Commission is looking to bring digital currency exchanges under the purview of its Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD).
The European Digital Currency & Blockchain Technology Forum (EDCAB), a Brussels-based public policy platform for digital currencies and blockchain technology has revealed that the influential Euro Parliament Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs has voted to adopt its report on virtual currencies.
The decision comes following a 54-to-1 vote for a report which calls for the creation of a regulatory taskforce overseeing virtual currencies, as one of its primary proposals.
The proposed taskforce will also recommend necessary legislation to govern and regulate the digital and virtual currencies sector. The majority vote now sets a path to a full vote of the European Parliament at the upcoming plenary meeting in May.
The current AMLD, as of May 2015, makes no mention of virtual or cryptocurrencies and is due for an update to include digital currencies under its scope. If and when digital currencies are included under the AMLD, it’s likely that there will be no more anonymity during transactions between virtual and fiat currencies via exchanges.
Still, the report that calls for the taskforce also warns against a heavy-handed approach to the innovation of blockchain and virtual currencies like bitcoin.
Noting that such innovation can bring significant opportunities for consumer and economic development, Jackob Von Weizsäcker, author of the report, stated:
To avoid stifling innovation, we favor precautionary monitoring instead of 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.
In February 2016, it was revealed that the European Central Bank, the European Union’s central bank, was looking toward new innovations such as blockchain technology to help enhance payment and settlement systems. More recently, Yves Mersh, a member of the ECB executive board called blockchain technology a game-changer
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