European Union Prepares for the Digital Euro: Lawmaker Touts Bitcoin as the Alternative
The European Union is actively gearing up for the future of money, having finalized comprehensive crypto legislation and making progress toward introducing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the form of the “digital euro.” The landmark Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA) is set to take effect in 2024 after closing its second consultation. The plan to introduce the digital euro continues to gain traction, but not without dissent.
In a recent survey in Spain, 65% of Spaniards expressed disinterest in using the digital euro, while Slovakia’s parliament passed a measure to codify the right to pay with cash in the face of the impending digital currency. Additionally, in Germany, Member of the Bundestag Joana Cotar, a Bitcoin activist, has emerged as a notable critic of the digital euro.
Cotar, staunchly opposed to the digital euro, views it as a potential threat to citizens’ privacy and freedom, stating, “The digital euro would also mean that each and every one of us could be totally monitored. As a convinced libertarian, I emphatically reject this.”
Cotar, who believes the Chinese social credit system serves as a warning of possibilities associated with a cashless and state-controlled payment system, has been raising awareness among lawmakers about the potential dangers of the digital euro. While vocal in her opposition to the digital euro, she is a champion of Bitcoin and has launched initiatives to educate members of the German Bundestag about the potential and risks of Bitcoin.
Cotar envisions a broader acceptance of Bitcoin, including the ability to pay taxes and fees with the cryptocurrency and using Bitcoin mining farms to stabilize the power grid. She advocates for a legal framework in Germany that recognizes Bitcoin as legal tender, emphasizing the importance of proactive measures to combat potential risks associated with Bitcoin while fostering innovation and freedom.
The European Central Bank (ECB) recently announced the commencement of the “preparation phase” for the digital euro project following a two-year investigation into the potential EU-wide digital currency. As the EU continues to navigate the future of digital currency, perspectives like that of Cotar highlight the ongoing dialogue and debate surrounding the role of the digital euro and the potential of alternative currencies in the European financial landscape.
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