Netherlands Must Ban Bitcoin, Says Dutch Bureaucrat

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In Brief
  • The Head of the Netherlands’ Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis Pieter Hasekamp said the country must ban crypto immediately.

  • He believes a crypto crash is inevitable and the Netherlands should ban the production, trade, and possession of crypto.

  • Although many share a similar perspective, other countries in Europe are taking a more nuanced approach to crypto integration.

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The Head of the Netherlands’ Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB) Pieter Hasekamp has said the country must ban cryptocurrencies immediately. 

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Hasekamp believes that a cryptocurrency crash is inevitable, so the Netherlands should act promptly to avoid any potential damage. “For investors and the governments alike, the last person to act is the loser,” Hasekamp said. “The Netherlands must now ban bitcoin (BTC).” The organization Hasekamp leads, the CPB, is part of the country’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. 

Crypto bans

Hasekamp notes that other countries around the world have already taken steps to ban cryptocurrencies. For instance, Turkey banned payments in crypto in April, while, last month, China banned lenders from offering services involving crypto. He adds these countries cite such reasons as fraud, criminal use, and financial instability. In this respect, he believes the Netherlands is falling behind.

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Hasekamp advocated for the ban on the production, trade, and possession of crypto. However, enforcement of such a sweeping regime is largely infeasible, for one, because cryptocurrencies are not issued by financial institutions. Additionally, due to their decentralized nature, they are traded internationally, with authorities generally have little control over. Indeed, despite the ban in China, traders in that country are still managing to circumvent the prohibition. 

Hasekamp believes that the ban would subsequently lead to a decline in the value of cryptocurrencies. His understanding is that people use cryptocurrencies with the belief that they will eventually replace traditional money. However, he rejects this notion out of hand.

In the Netherlands, earlier attempts were made to tighten up the supervision of trading platforms, albeit without much success. Notably, Minister of Finance Wopke Hoekstra rejected a ban on cryptocurrencies in 2018.

Crypto integration in Europe

Although nowhere near as strident, many financial authorities have also taken stances against the legitimacy of cryptocurrencies. Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey, says they have no intrinsic value, calling them “dangerous.”

However, others believe a more nuanced approach would be more appropriate. Financial lobbying firm TheCityUK believes the country should enact consumer protection for cryptocurrencies. They say this would help attract more crypto-based companies to London.

Meanwhile, Switzerland is going to great lengths to establish itself as a global hub for cryptocurrencies. Crypto exchanges are welcome if they comply with rules combating financial crime and secure the proper licenses. One company even noted how the Swiss Chamber of Commerce even helped facilitate his visa paperwork. 

Other countries are also envisioning a more welcoming approach. Speaking at a World Economic Forum event earlier this year, Minister of Economy and Innovation of Lithuania Aušrinė Armonaitė highlighted her experience facilitating the integration of fintech companies into her country’s capital city. She believes this could be a model for the integration of decentralized finance firms.

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Nick is a data scientist who teaches economics and communication in Budapest, Hungary, where he received a BA in Political Science and Economics and an MSc in Business Analytics from CEU. He has been writing about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology since 2018, and is intrigued by its potential economic and political usage. He can best be described as an optimistic center-left skeptic.

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