EU Considers Bitcoin Ban After Paris Attacks
Ashley Allen / 2 years ago
Following the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris, France on 13th November, the European Union is meeting to discuss a ban on cryptocurrency Bitcoin, according to Reuters. The move comes following unconfirmed rumours that the ISIS operatives responsible for the devastating attacks had up to $3 million in their Bitcoin wallet.
In a document obtained by Reuters, the EU‘s executive arm, the European Commission, outlines plans to “strengthen controls of non-banking payment methods such as electronic/anonymous payments and virtual currencies and transfers of gold, precious metals, by prepaid cards.” But, as The Washington Post adds, so far there is no concrete evidence that the terrorists responsible used any kind of encrypted system to support its activities, and that the EU itself is still investigating whether cryptocurrencies were involved in funding those responsible.
Ben Bernanke, the former head of the US Federal Reserve, has also raised concerns over Bitcoin’s function. “The real serious problem that [Bitcoin] has is it’s anonymity,” Bernanke told Quartz, “which is a feature, and is also a bug, in that it has become in some cases a vehicle for illicit transactions, drug selling or terrorist financing or whatever. And you know, governments are not happy to let that activity happen, so I suspect that there will be oversight of transactions done in bitcoin or similar currencies and that will reduce the appeal.”
At the EU summit, taking place today, Members of European Parliament will also discuss plans “to curb more effectively the illicit trade in cultural goods.”