While El Salvador has hoisted Bitcoin on par with the US dollar, the head of the Central Planning Office of the Netherlands would like to crush the entire crypto sector.
Attention nostalgia friends: Pieter Hasekamp, the director of the Central Planning Office (CPB) of the Netherlands, has reached deep into the anti-Bitcoin group’s moth box. In a comment last Friday , Hasenkamp called for an immediate Bitcoin ban in the Netherlands. The arguments that the CPB director uses against Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general are older than the Genesis block. Sometimes even centuries older. Because at the beginning of his anti-crypto tirade Hasenkamp cites Gresham’s law, which the English financier Thomas Gresham put forward in the 16th century: “Bad money displaces good money”.
While Gresham criticized the growing spread of impure coins (i.e. not 100 percent made of precious metal) coins, Hasekamp tried to draw a link with Bitcoin. In the first paragraph of his comment, Hasekamp admits that the analogy does not work. Gresham’s law does not apply because cryptocurrencies are not used in “normal payment transactions”. Hasekamp does not mention the fact that Bitcoin recently gained the same status as the US dollar as legal tender in El Salvador .
The old song: euro hui, bitcoin ugh
Nevertheless, it becomes clear from the following lines what the CPB boss thinks of the idea of integrating cryptocurrencies into payment transactions: absolutely nothing. Cryptocurrencies are too volatile to function as a store of value and a unit of account, two fundamental properties that “good money” must meet. Bitcoin and co. Offer advantages in terms of privacy, but primarily criminals benefit from these: inside.
They [cryptocurrencies] do much worse than public money in all respects. There is no stable value, user-friendliness suffers from a lack of acceptance and security is undermined by downright scams. Cyber transactions only do well when it comes to privacy – and it is precisely this anonymity that makes them attractive to criminals.
Hasekamp makes no move to differentiate between different crypto currencies. The thousands of projects in the crypto market, which has now grown to over USD 1.5 trillion, are unrestrained and devoid of any ability to differentiate. Hasekamp only breaks a lance for digital central bank money (CBDC):
[…] All in all, the current monetary system – with independent central banks, banking supervision and deposit insurance, an advanced payment infrastructure – works well in practice. Further improvements are conceivable: Many central banks are now working on digital versions of their currency: central bank digital currencies.
Bitcoin ban instead of regulation
So what to do with the bad crypto money? For Hasekamp, the answer does not lie in regulation based on a sense of proportion, on the contrary. Regulation of Bitcoin would only further legitimize the crypto sector and Hasekamp seems to have a problem with that.
Instead, he advocates a total Bitcoin ban in the Netherlands – and that better yesterday than tomorrow. Hasekamp cites China as a model, even if there is no Bitcoin ban there , as he has in mind. The Netherlands “lagged behind” and the longer they waited before issuing a ban, the “greater the negative consequences will be after the final crash”.
The ultimate step is a total ban on the production, trading and even possession of cryptocurrencies. Opponents of such a ban often refer to drug trafficking practices, where a ban has proven ineffective. But there is a crucial difference here: where a ban on drugs increases profit margins in production and trade, a ban on cryptocurrencies actually leads to price reductions: after all, the product itself has no intrinsic value and only draws its appeal from its acceptance by others.
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Finally, Hasekamp calls on the government to act immediately. “For investors and governments, the last one to move is lost.” The Netherlands should therefore immediately issue a Bitcoin ban, said Hasekamp. How and whether such a ban can be put into practice is just as unclear as the devil that Hasekamp paints on the wall as the “final crash”.