June 15, 2024

What Are The Differences Between Crypto In EU Politics Versus USA Politics?

What Are The Differences Between Crypto In EU Politics Versus USA Politics?

What Are The Differences Between Crypto In EU Politics Versus USA Politics?

Cryptocurrencies have become an important topic in global financial discussions, with varying degrees of attention and regulation across different regions. The approach to crypto in the European Union (EU) and the United States (USA) however reflects different priorities and political climates. In this article we examine how crypto is treated in EU politics compared to the USA, showing you some key regulatory developments, political attitudes, and future implications.

But let us first check the use of crypto in both the EU and the USA. About 18% of Americans own cryptocurrencies, a figure that has grown a lot in recent years. In the EU, around 17% of the population owns cryptocurrencies.

If you think that is high, know that the global average is 23% with Turkey leading in terms of the percentage of the population using crypto. A whopping 27.1% of the internet-using population in Turkey is engaged in crypto activities. This is due to the country’s economic instability and currency devaluation. The Philippines have 23.4% of its internet-using population involved in crypto driven by remittances and a young, tech-savvy population. Argentina has a high adoption rate at 23.5% as well, with many using cryptocurrencies to protect against inflation and economic instability just like in Turkey. Next are Thailand (21.9%) and Vietnam (18.5%). Both numbers are driven by a rapidly growing economy and a high level of tech adoption among its youth​.

Crypto in EU Politics

In the European Union, the political landscape regarding cryptocurrencies is marked by cautious engagement and regulatory skepticism. As the EU election season kicks off, crypto remains a sidelined issue. The focus is predominantly on broader economic policies and social issues rather than digital currencies.

The EU has taken steps to regulate cryptocurrencies, putting an emphasis on consumer protection and anti-money laundering (AML) measures. Initiatives such as the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation aim to create a comprehensive regulatory framework to govern digital assets across member states. MiCA, set to take effect in 2024, introduces uniform rules for crypto-assets, covering aspects like transparency, disclosure, authorization, and supervision of transactions. This regulation aims to provide legal certainty, boost innovation, and ensure financial stability while protecting consumers from associated risks.

European politicians are generally more cautious about embracing cryptocurrencies compared to their American counterparts. This caution is reflected in the limited political discourse surrounding crypto during election campaigns for instance. The primary concerns involve the potential for financial instability, fraud, and the use of digital currencies for illicit activities instead of looking at the possible possitive opportunities.

Despite the current sidelining, the EU is expected to gradually develop a more structured approach to crypto regulation. As the digital economy grows, the EU may – and we emphasize ‘may’ – integrate crypto more prominently into its financial and economic policies, balancing innovation with stringent regulatory measures. The MiCA regulation alreadyrepresents a significant step towards achieving this balance but it remains to be seen what the future will bring to the table.

Crypto in USA Politics

In contrast, the United States exhibits a more dynamic and divided political stance on cryptocurrencies. The discourse is highly polarized, with a lot of attention from both proponents and opponents of digital currencies.

The regulatory landscape in the USA is fragmented, with different states adopting varying approaches to crypto regulation. Federal agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) play crucial roles in shaping the regulatory environment. The Biden administration from its side has shown interest in establishing clearer regulatory guidelines to address the growing influence of cryptocurrencies.

Nevertheless, cryptocurrencies have become a contentious issue in American politics. Figures like Mike Novogratz, a prominent crypto investor, advocate for the integration and acceptance of digital currencies, predicting significant price surges such as Bitcoin reaching $100,000. On the other hand, some policymakers express concerns about the risks associated with crypto, similar to their EU counterparts, including market volatility and potential impacts on monetary policy.

The USA is likely to continue its proactive approach to crypto regulation, balancing innovation with oversight. The upcoming elections could further influence the regulatory direction, with potential shifts depending on the political composition of the government. Key issues include the establishment of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) and the integration of crypto into the broader financial system.

But it goes without saying that the EU’s cautious and regulatory-focused stance contrasts heavily with the USA’s dynamic and polarized political environment.