The legislative body of the European Union – The European Parliament, has approved a proposal for a task force designed to study digital currencies and blockchain technology.
According to a report drafted by European Parliament member (MEP) Jakob von Weizsäcker, it has started in its activity later in February.
These proposal about a further study of blockchain and digital currencies were sent also to the European Commission, the executive body of the EU, but remained only in the stage of closer monitoring need. The blockchain focused report also urged EU leaders to address any risks related to money laundering and terrorism financing.
Until now, the EU Parliament has discussed and held a number of events related to bitcoin and blockchain study and presentation. Versions of the report moved through the legislature in April, setting the stage for vote on Thursday.
The EU Parliament voted 542-51 and has passed the proposal, with 11 MEPs abstaining.
After the vote, von Weizsäcker stated that the primary function of the task force should be still to “monitor” technology developments ahead of any concrete regulatory proposals.
According to the statement, Von Weizsäcker added:
“To avoid stifling innovation, we favour precautionary monitoring rather than pre-emptive regulation. But IT innovations can spread very rapidly and become systemic. That’s why we call on the Commission to establish a taskforce to actively monitor how the technology evolves and to make timely proposals for specific regulation if, and when, the need arises.”
Now this report will be sent to the Commission for consideration, and we expect the formation of the task force to follow in the months ahead. In addition to its research mandate, the task force will likely propose a legislative for digital currencies and blockchain tech.
Given recent indications that the European Commission wants to expand oversight of bitcoin exchanges in the EU, it’s possible that task force proposals could be useful for this policy direction.
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