Far Right-Driven European Parliament Motion on Controlling Digital Currencies Updated

A European Parliament motion calling for a resolution controlling virtual currencies such as bitcoin, first tabled by three far right French members of parliament in November 2015, has this week been updated.

The motion was brought by three MEPs from France’s National Front party, Sophie Montel, Florian Philippot and Dominique Bilde, in accordance with Rule 133 of the legislative body’s rules of procedure.

The motion calls for greater control on “virtual currencies” and declares that the bitcoin network has inherently high level of risk resulting from the anonymity and irreversibility of transactions, favors the first purchasers of bitcoins, and is remarkably similar to a Ponzi scheme.

The main body of the motion reads:

The European Parliament,

– having regard to Rule 133 of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the Court of Justice of the European Union stated in its judgment of 22 October 2015 that transactions involving the exchange of the virtual currency ‘bitcoin’ for traditional currencies should be exempted from VAT on the ground that the ‘bitcoin’ is neither a security confering a property right nor a security of a comparable nature;

B. whereas there is a high level of risk in the bitcoin system (mainly related to the anonymity involved) on account of the irreversibility of transactions, whereas it favours the first purchasers unduly (thereby creating gross inequalities) and it has certain similarities with a Ponzi scheme;

C. whereas some countries, such as Russia, have decided to make some transactions involving virtual currencies a criminal offence, owing to the high risk of their being used for illegal purposes;

1. Calls on the Commission to allow Member States to exercise stricter controls over all virtual currency exchange transactions and even to prohibit them;

2. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council and the Member States.

All three are MPEs from the French far right party, National Front, and are in the Europe of Nations and Freedom Group.

Sophie Montel is on the Committee on Budgets, and the Delegation for relations with Switzerland and Norway and to the EU-Iceland Joint Parliamentary Committee and the European Economic Area (EEA) Joint Parliamentary Committee

Florian Philippot is on the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, and the Committee on Constitutional Affairs

Dominique Bilde is on the Committee on Culture and Education, and the Delegation for relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo.