Who can control cryptocurrencies?

The fall in the price of bitcoin, which followed what some have seen fit to call the “crypto-crash”, has prompted some specialized companies in the US to launch firings and “stop the music”, as investors put it. “Across the Atlantic. Rising interest rates showed in part that this cryptocurrency market was not as isolated from the rest of financial assets as cryptocurrency companies and platforms seemed to say.

For the initiators of this type of transaction, the crisis in Europe is linked to a desire on the part of the ECB and the European parliamentarians to better regulate their use. The proposed MICA and TFR rules, which aim to regulate crypto companies and request that the anonymity of transactions cease, give rise to strong exchanges, of which we can hear an echo tonight.

For this discussion, Emmanuel Laurentin recipient Claire Balvablockchain and crypto director at KPMG France, Aurore LalucqMember of the European Parliament for the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (in France: Place Publique) and Erik Monetstudy leader at EHESS, professor at the Paris School of Economics and winner of the 2022 Best Young Economist award.

Claire Balva Emphasizes the importance of seizing the opportunities offered by cryptocurrencies that make up a strategic sector: “The major cryptocurrencies are based on blockchains, which are public and transparent networks on which data analysis can be performed. (…) Europe sees itself as a consumer market and not as a political power that could have its own will, but here we are in a strategic sector. (…) There were rules in some countries of the European Union. (…) It is necessary to take an interest in the problems of these actors. (…) Financial regulation was based on the need to have intermediaries, and here, for the first time, we no longer necessarily have these intermediaries. (…) These tools are there, we can not ban them. The right policy is precisely to learn to seize the opportunities that these tools give us. “

Aurore Lalucq Notes the lack of regulation of cryptocurrencies, the lack of consumer protection and problematic energy consumption: “It’s not an ecosystem, it’s a market, it’s a sector. They are not currencies, the currency goes with an element of trust, of violence, it is one of the elements of state sovereignty. On the other hand, they are extremely speculative, highly volatile financial assets. (…) We are in an unregulated economy. (…) In cryptocurrencies there are many scams. It is imperative to clean up this market to protect consumers. (…) The fall of Bitcoin raises the question of whether it will still be profitable, it requires extremely high power and energy consumption. The question is: is this a priority today? (…) We know absolutely nothing, so we can not protect consumers. (…) Some platforms are asked to have a certain number of rules to identify who is behind the transfers. “

Erik Monet highlights the vagueness that characterizes this universe and the role that central banks can play: “We are in a universe that is still difficult to characterize. (…) Cryptocurrencies were born in a context of distrust of states. (…) We must have clear objectives for the development of the banking and financial markets. (…) There is a kind of necessary compliance with this protocol when using these cryptocurrencies. (…) These decentralized active currencies need to be verified by a third party, all of which is highly regulated internally. (…) Banknotes are set to disappear. (…) The issue for central banks is to create an alternative to these digital banknotes. (…) This would ensure financial stability and the ability to pursue macroeconomic policies. “

Bibliography :

  • Eric Monet, Banque Providence, democratization of central banks and moneyEditions Seuil, 2021

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