Former Belgium Finance Minister seeks Crypto Ban following US Banking Crisis

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Key Takeaways:

  • Former Belgian finance minister and current member of the European Parliament Johan Van Overtveldt likened crypto to drugs.
  • The effects of Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank, and Silvergate Bank’s collapse on the markets in their respective countries have been discussed by members of the European Parliament.

Amidst the present banking crisis, Johan Van Overtveldt, a member of the European Parliament and a former minister of finance of Belgium, has advocated for a “strict ban” on cryptocurrencies.

Overtveldt suggested in a tweet on March 17 that lawmakers should consider outlawing cryptocurrencies as a “lesson” from the failures of Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank, and Silvergate Bank in the US, labeling digital assets “speculative poison.” The impact of these organizations’ failure on the markets that fall under its purview has been a subject of conversation among members of the European Parliament. Tweeted Van Overveldt:

“Another lesson to be learned from the current banking commotion. Enforce a strict ban on cryptocurrencies,”

As the fallout from the collapse of crypto-friendly Silvergate Bank and Silicon Valley Bank reached European markets, he said, “If a government bans drugs, it should also ban crypto.” Consequently, Credit Suisse (CS) had to obtain a loan of $53 billion from the Swiss National Bank after its shares hit a record low.

From 2014 to 2018, Overtveldt served as the finance minister of Belgium. In 2019, he was elected to the European Parliament and appointed to the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs. The committee authorized the Markets in Crypto-Assets, or MiCA, framework in October 2022; it is anticipated to take effect in 2024.

The Securities Markets in Crypto Assets regulations, which will provide a legal framework for companies that give digital wallets and exchanges, will be put to the vote by the 705 members of the Parliament as early as next month.

Van Overtveldt oversaw the creation of a new law permitting the trading of securities using distributed ledger technology, and he also asserted that the technology underpinning cryptocurrencies has “great potential” to boost productivity.

As the effects of the banking crisis become more apparent, numerous American legislators have asserted that financial institutions’ connections to cryptocurrency businesses contributed to those companies’ failure, beginning with Silvergate’s voluntary bankruptcy on March 8. Following Silicon Valley Bank on March 10 during a bank run, Signature was taken over by New York authorities on March 12. After that, SVB Financial Group submitted a Chapter 11 insolvency petition.

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