EU lawmaker Johan Van Overtveldt compares crypto to drugs, calls for ban

Former Belgian Finance Minister and Member of the European Parliament (EP), Johan Van Overtveldt, has called for a ban on cryptocurrencies to ease the current banking crisis. In a tweet on his personal account, Van Overtveldt stated that the crypto asset industry “does not bring any economic or social value.” CoinDesk reported that his comments were made as the EP prepares to vote on regulations regarding crypto activities.

“Another lesson to be learned from the current banking commotion. Enforce a strict ban on cryptocurrencies. Speculative poison and no economic or social added value. If a government bans drugs, it should also ban cryptos,” wrote Van Overtveldt.

He believes that banks are in crisis due to the impact of cryptocurrencies. Furthermore, the EU parliamentarian assumes that all cryptocurrencies are pure speculative assets and have no economic or social value. Van Overtveldt even compared cryptocurrencies to drugs.

Within two weeks, the financial market has received bad news from three large banks in the United States. Silvergate Bank, Silicon Valley Bank, and Signature Bank have all closed, raising concerns about the impact on both traditional and crypto markets.

Not only in the US, but also in Switzerland, Credit Suisse, a leading bank, is also facing bankruptcy. As reported by Interlock, the largest shareholder of Credit Suisse has decided to stop investing in the company due to the declining stock value. The Swiss central bank has then granted the bank around 50 billion francs ($53.68 billion) as secured lending and short-term liquidity tools.

The crisis is knocking on the doors of the European banking sector and may have led the former Belgian Finance Minister to have a negative view of cryptocurrencies. In the US, many people are also skeptical that regulatory agencies deliberately closed those banks to cut off services for crypto projects.

Barney Frank, a member of Signature’s board of directors, asserted that the bank was still stable when forced to close. “I think financial officials are doing this to send a message against crypto. They want to show the public that crypto is harmful,” Frank shared with CNBC.

Immediately after that, the New York State Department of Financial Services confirmed that their intervention in Signature had nothing to do with cryptocurrencies. The agency pointed out that the bank had not provided sufficient information to the manager, causing serious trust issues.

As of March 16th, Reuters reported that the company that acquired Signature Bank will not be allowed to continue offering cryptocurrency services. Although the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has clarified its position, suspicions that the US government wants to restrict crypto have not been extinguished.

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