Tuesday 15 June 2021

The Netherlands should ban bitcoin, says government think-tank chief

Bitcoin mining. Photo: Depositphotos.com

The Netherlands must ban crypto currencies as soon as possible before the ‘invitable crash’ happens, according to Pieter Hasekamp, the director of the government’s economic think-tank CPB.

Unlike in other countries, the Dutch authorities have been slow to legislate on crypto currencies despite warnings by the CPB of its inherent ‘bad money’ characteristics, such as ‘fraud, criminal use, gambling addiction, financial instability and the dependence on huge amount of energy’, Hasekamp wrote in an essay for the Financieele Dagblad.

The lax approach to regulation is ‘legitimising’ crypto currencies, he said. ‘The longer we wait the bigger the negative consequences of the inevitable crash’, he said.

An immediate ban on the production, possession and trade of crypto currencies could deprive them of their lifeblood which is its ‘acceptance by others since it lacks intrinsic value’, Haseskamp said.

Such a ban will be difficult to police, experts say, because crypto currencies are not issued by financial institutions and are traded internationally. That was the reason finance minister Wopke Hoekstra rejected a ban in 2018.

According to some estimates around 700,000 people in the Netherlands are currently investing in crypto currencies.

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