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30/09/2016

National Front calls for ban on Bitcoin

Euro & Finance

National Front calls for ban on Bitcoin

Critics of Bitcoin have likened it to a pyramid or Ponzi scheme.

[BTC Keychain/Flickr]

The National Front wants to preserve cash and ban Bitcoin, which it sees as an unsafe form of payment. The EU has yet to legislate on the subject. EurActiv France reports.

In its economic policy, the extreme-right National Front (NF) is often radical and unconventional. The party’s position on electronic currencies is no exception: it simply wants to ban them.

Marine Le Pen, the party’s president, published a press release in May, in which she called on French citizens to reject what she called the “alienation” brought about by virtual currencies and the decline of cash.

In the same statement, she attacked Bitcoin and the European Central Bank’s decision to stop printing the €500 note.

“The survival tactics of the financial oligarchs are to avoid any possible leakage of their clients’ money through massive withdrawals outside the banking system. Cash, notes and coins, become the enemy,” Le Pen wrote.

The NF is also a harsh critic of the progressive disappearance of cash payments, for which the limit in France was reduced from €7,500 to €1,000 in 2015.

Suspicious bank notes lead to Luxembourg

One third of all cash in circulation in the eurozone is now in the form of €500 notes. Suspicions have been raised over Luxembourg, which prints double its GDP in banknotes each year. EurActiv France reports

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According to the MEP Bernard Monot, the National Front’s economic specialist, the party would ban the use of virtual currencies, but would not completely eradicate them.

“If we were in power, the only legal tender would be the new French Franc, which would have an equal value to the ECU, the euro currency that would remain. Because we want to keep a common euro currency on an international level,” he told the French newspaper le Figaro.

In his latest “economic bulletin” video, Monot said Bitcoin was a subject that had to be taken very seriously.

“The most worrying thing is that this currency, which has appeared out of nowhere, is not legal tender and has no guarantee. It is nothing more than a Ponzi scheme,” he said.

A Ponzi scheme is an investment scam whereby investors receive returns paid with the capital from new investors, rather than legitimate profits.

Monot argued that the blockchain mechanism itself, a public record of all Bitcoin transactions and their beneficiaries, should be saved as it might have other legitimate uses, but that the use of the virtual currency should be banned.

Bundesbank unsure about phasing out €500 notes

Germany’s central bank has cast doubt on what impact abolishing the €500 note would have on money laundering and the financing of terrorism. EurActiv Germany reports.

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The European Parliament adopted a report on virtual currencies on 25 May, which called for a “proportionate regulatory approach” from the Union, taking care not to stifle innovation and generate unnecessary extra costs.

The Commission has been examining the subject for some time, but has yet to make any concrete proposals.

Background