Johan Van Overtveldt, a member of the European Parliament and the former Minister of Finance of Belgium, has called for a “strict ban” on crypto as a direct result of the recent banking crisis.
In a March 17 tweet, Overtveldt proposed legislators should look at prohibiting digital currencies as a “lesson” from the bankruptcies of Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank and Silvergate Bank in the United States, describing digital assets as “speculative poison.” Members of the European Parliament have been debating the impact of these banks’ failures on markets in its jurisdiction.
“If a government bans drugs, it should also ban cryptos,” said Overtveldt.
A former finance minister of Belgium from 2014 to 2018, Overtveldt became a European Parliament member in 2019 and part of its Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs. In October 2022, the committee ratified the Markets in Crypto-Assets, or MiCA, framework, anticipated to come into effect starting in 2024.
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As the fallout from the banking crisis deepens, many U.S. legislators have also claimed financial institutions’ ties to crypto companies were partly responsible for their failure, commencing with Silvergate’s voluntary liquidation on March 8. Silicon Valley Bank followed on March 10 amidst a bank run, and New York regulators took control of Signature on March 12. SVB Financial Group has since filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.