Germany Debates Blockchain Regulation

Wilfred Michael 

Wilfred Michael

News reporter

12 March 2019,
Germany Debates Blockchain Regulation

A gathering of the Financial Committee of the German Federal Parliament (Bundestag) prompted lawmakers, regulators, and industry experts to share their thoughts in a debate regarding lack of regulation for blockchain technology in the country.

The debate was reportedly initiated by a proposal submitted by Germany’s Free Democratic Party (FDP), accusing regulators of failing to define a “Sustainable Framework for Distributed Ledger Technology in the Financial Market.”

FDP Proposal Regarding German Blockchain Regulation

In its proposal, the FDP highlighted the positive potential embed in cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings, especially their ability to exist as a “flexible financing alternative” for startups in the country.

It, however, goes ahead to mention that crypto and blockchain startups can only realize these potentials if there “is legal certainty for its application and a workable legal framework for its use.”

Conclusively, the proposal stated that both the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) and the Federal Ministry of Finance has failed to make the required legal adjustments that will affect the blockchain technology ecosystem to thrive in Germany.

Experts Respond To FDP’s Proposal

Given that the proposal was thrown open for a public hearing, experts across different industries in the German field shared their thoughts but here are a few notable comments:

Oliver Fußwinkel from BaFin, one of the regulators accused in the proposal said that she first learned about Bitcoin in 2011 and since then her agency has worked to develop structures that allow them to track the progress of the invention.

Eric Romba for local law firm LindenPartners stated that the country does not necessarily need a new framework dedicated to DLT. However, he asserts that there is a need for legal certainty especially with taxation laws for the crypto industry.

Martin Fries a law lecturer in the famous University of Munich said the country would have to loosen existing data protection laws or find new regulations that suit blockchain technology.

Interestingly, this is the second time in a month that German authorities are talking up the issue of blockchain regulation. As per the earlier development, reported that Germany opened a consultation process seeking public opinion on how it could tap into blockchain technology.


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