The recent collapse of banks in the United States has concerned regulators and lawmakers across the globe. Several personalities are proposing to maintain a cautious approach towards crypto to avoid a financial catastrophe in the future.
On Friday, Johan Van Overtveldt, a member of the European Parliament and former Belgian finance minister, took to Twitter to share his opinions on the recent scenario. The lawmaker called for a complete ban on crypto in the wake of the recent turmoil in the banking sector.
Van Overtveldt is also the economic spokesperson for the group of 64 EU lawmakers. His comments come at a time when the EU Parliament prepares to vote on landmark crypto licensing rules for the bloc.
He said that a very important lesson lies within the current banking crisis and that is to enforce a strict ban on cryptocurrencies. He added that the assets were mere speculation with “no economic or social value.” Quoting him:
Another lesson to be learned from the current banking commotion. Enforce a strict ban on cryptocurrencies.
The lawmaker highlighted his views as repercussions from the failure of crypto-friendly Silvergate and Silicon Valley Bank spread to European markets, including sending shares of Credit Suisse to a record low and forcing it to borrow $53 billion from the Swiss National Bank. He also compared cryptocurrencies to drugs and said that:
If a government bans drugs, it should also ban crypto.
The Parliament’s 705 lawmakers are due to vote as soon as next month on the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation, which will offer a regulatory framework for wallet providers and exchanges if they follow governance and consumer-protection norms.
Notably, the lawmaker represents the right-wing European Conservatives and Reformers, the fifth-largest political grouping in the Parliament, in the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee. He was Belgium’s finance minister from 2014 to 2018. He led the parliament’s work on a new law to allow the trading of securities based on distributed ledger technology and has said that the technology underpinning crypto has “great potential” to improve productivity.
The ongoing banking turmoil has brought sleepless nights to regulators across the globe. In the Senate hearing session that took place on Thursday, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was grilled in the parliament on the topic. The banking system was also mocked and questioned for preferring crypto over marijuana industries.
However, some people and institutions have been against the asset since the start. In February, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) very explicitly said that while crypto regulation is a priority, the agency hasn’t discarded the idea of a ban on cryptocurrencies.