The use of new technologies such as blockchain or artificial intelligence has recently received more attention and acceptance from governments around the world.
On Sunday, September 26th, the Germans voted in the parliamentary elections that marked the end of Angela Merkel’s 16-year term in office. Germany has experienced deep crises since 2005, but also times of unprecedented prosperity. Merkel’s departure creates a power vacuum, but also an opportunity for a new beginning – also in the crypto sector. But what could this new beginning look like and what are the German parties planning to help the crypto market and new technologies such as blockchain?
Cointelegraph looked at electoral statements, searched for keywords such as “cryptocurrency”, “blockchain” or “digital euro” and asked the parties what they think about the regulation of the crypto market.
Social Democrats – won 206 seats
The relationship of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SDP) to cryptocurrencies can be explained briefly: The crypto market clearly does not play a role for Germany’s largest party with the largest number of members. And words like “bitcoin” or “crypto currency” seem to have been forgotten in the “future program”. Manifesto for the future), the title of the SPD’s election manifesto.
There is only one place where private digital currencies such as the Facebook Diem project or the so-called stablecoins are mentioned negatively. The digital euro did not appear in the SPD election documents either.
The “sister parties” CDU and CSU, known as “Union” – won 196 seats
The center-right parties CDU / CSU were important for the cryptocurrency until mid-2019, after which this party started its blockchain strategy. From the perspective of the CDU / CSU, blockchain technology has great potential and Germany is becoming a global blockchain pioneer. 90% of the measures (40 out of 44) from its blockchain strategy have already been initiated, including milestones such as the opening of the German Securities Act. The alliance intends to further advance blockchain pilot projects.
On the subject of cryptocurrencies, the CDU / CSU called for progressive but responsible regulation and tightening of the Know Your Customer rules. In the manifesto it says:
“The purchase of real estate against cash payment is only made through a bank, whereby the bank must first check the identity of the buyer and the origin of the funds in the context of an existing business relationship; The same applies to exchanging cash for cryptocurrencies and vice versa. “
On the other hand, tokenized securities are central to the CDU / CSU and are openly supported by the party. The CDU / CSU also see the digital euro as a fast, simple and secure means of payment and as an alternative to cash – but according to the party, “you have to act carefully”.
Alliance 90 / The Greens – 118 seats won
Green people understand the importance of blockchain technology, but want to keep this innovation under state control. According to Lisa Paus, spokeswoman for the Greens for financial policy, Cointelegraph said that cryptocurrencies harbor risks such as “massive energy consumption, abusive crime and speculative exaggeration”. “Essentially, the same rules apply here to all innovations in the financial sector as to other classic financial products in terms of consumer protection, transparency and financial stability,” she said.
In principle, the Greens support the European Central Bank’s plan to create its own digital euro. According to Paus, the European Union needs its own infrastructure in the financial sector in order to guarantee its sovereignty and the international role of the euro. She speaks:
“It is important to us that the digital euro guarantees legal and data security for consumers and companies and does not endanger financial stability. With the digital euro we can also fight the unjustified costs of the oligarchs. A digital euro does not replace traditional cash, it complements it. “
Like the SPD, the Greens reject private currencies or stablecoins. The party fears that state control over the currency will be eroded and therefore wants to take decisive action against it.
The election platform of the Greens also wants to completely abolish the tax exemption for crypto investments that are held for more than a year.
Currently, Germany only taxes cryptocurrencies or precious metals such as gold or silver if they are sold in the same year in which they were bought. In this way, crypto traders who use digital assets for long-term investments and rarely relocate them can achieve tax-free profits in Germany.
It doesn’t matter how long you last, according to the Greens – sooner or later the state will want to cut.
Liberal Democrats – 92 seats won
The Liberal Democratic Party (FDP) advocates a crypto-friendly policy in its election manifesto. It said it wants to create an innovation-friendly regulatory framework for crypto assets and allow digital securities.
“Clear standards can enable both companies involved and consumers to use blockchain more securely and thus contribute to better technology adaptation,” Johannes Mellein, press spokesman for the FDP, told Cointelegraph. According to Mellein, the regulation should not be too strict, but rather act as a market entry barrier.
The freelance FDP sees new opportunities in the blockchain, especially in the energy or financial services sector. According to the party, the emerging blockchain ecosystem could be one of the most powerful game changers in the capital markets and fintech sector in the next 10 years.
According to Mellein, blockchain technology can unlock more previously illiquid assets for public investment.
For this reason, the FDP calls for the transformation of national and European regulatory frameworks. In Germany, too, the FDP has proposed so-called “digital free zones”. Such zones – also known as regulatory sandboxes – would free blockchain and crypto startups from the regulation and control of the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) in order to try out new concepts and prototypes.
The FDP sees the digital euro as a fast and secure alternative to cash. However, according to the liberal party, the e-euro should not abolish or replace cash.
Replacement for Germany (AfD) – 83 seats won
Although several politicians of the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) have publicly spoken out in favor of Bitcoin (BTC) and crypto currencies in the past, this topic has no place in their current election program. ”Virtue. But normal. The right-wing populist party just dropped a line on central bank digital currency, claiming that it is strongly opposed to central bank currencies.
The right-wing populist party is only sure of one thing: cash must be preserved at all costs. As a civil right, the AfD demands the perpetual receipt of cash and is subject to common law.
Left – 39 seats won
In general, the left wants to regulate the digital payment system more aggressively. In addition, the party sees the state currency monopoly threatened by the privatization of money – especially by corporations like Facebook and its plans for a complementary currency Diem. But of course, cryptocurrencies also do not follow the leftist view that money should be owned by the state. The left confirms this to Cointelegraph:
“Cryptocurrencies are of little use to society and have harmful side effects.”
Mr. Left explained that Bitcoin neither finances our daily consumption nor has sufficient stability of value and it is not guaranteed to maintain or increase its value.
As a result, Remain is calling for stricter regulation of cryptocurrencies and better financial consumer protection. According to the Left, the financial regulator BaFin should regulate trading in crypto currencies “to protect investors from high losses”.
In addition, the Left is calling for a ban on the mining of cryptocurrencies. The party told Cointelegraph that it still views the creation of bitcoin and crypto as a waste of energy and resources:
“Bitcoin is also an environmental germ because mining consumes a lot of electricity. In addition, there is an urgent need for action to prevent money laundering with cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin is the dark financial network. “
However, the key crypto side is open to a digital euro. The left even tried in the last legislative period to put a digital euro on the agenda in the lower house:
“We support a secure and innovative digital euro, but in no way replace cash, we only supplement it. The digital euro is as secure as cash, enables its own level of data protection and helps digitize the economy, for example by automating the above-mentioned processes. “
According to the Linkspartei, blockchain technology is an innovation with great potential, especially in process automation. However, as Left noted, it does not make sense to use blockchain to verify the electricity-intensive billing by decentralized computers, which are often made available by banks without errors.
Summary: Stricter regulations expected
How this future six-party government will tackle the issue of regulating cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology remains to be seen.
Changes like stricter KYC rules and regulatory …