Dutch finance minister calls for regulation of digital currency

Rather than banning it outright, the finance minister of the Netherlands has called for regulation of digital currency, which he suggests is a more effective way of tackling the growth in digital currency adoption in the country.

Minister Wopke Hoekstra said the Netherlands should not prohibit citizens from using digital currency entirely, in spite of the risks, but should instead take a supervisory approach, both at a national and European level.

The comments come following remarks from local officials calling for a ban on digital currency usage in the country, citing the volatility and risks inherent in digital currency transactions.

Responding to the suggestion, Hoekstra said government supervision would provide a more effective solution for addressing the needs of the Dutch digital currency sector.

“My observation is now that supervision is more effective than a total ban in the Netherlands.”

He also referenced a prior warning issued back in 2017 just a matter of weeks before BTC hit $20,000 for the first time, where he warned of the risks of trading in digital currency, which he said was “entirely at their own expense and risk.”

“That’s going very well now, but we’ve also seen big dips and peaks along the way.”

His comments come after remarks last week from the director of the Dutch Bureau for Economic Analysis, Pieter Hasekamp, suggesting the government should immediately outlaw all dealings in BTC, including mining, trading and holding BTC tokens.

In particular, Hasekamp said BTC was not capable of performing the essential functions of money, and could be neither a unit of account, a store of value or a means of payment.

The comments reflect similar sentiments from others in the mainstream financial community, particularly towards BTC, which is largely used only by speculators hoping for an increase in price.

The calls for regulation in the Netherlands would be a more satisfactory solution for the emerging digital currency sector there, which is keen for regulation to establish a legal framework for digital currency and related businesses.

See also: CoinGeek Zurich panel on Digital Technology and the Future of Banking & Financial Services

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