Vote guide elections 2021: What do political parties think of Bitcoin?

The elections are coming, but what do political parties actually think of Bitcoin? Hardly anyone knows that, because hardly any election program mentions it. That is why we asked political parties what their position is with regard to Bitcoin. In this article you can read an overview of the responses we received, or the views we managed to find elsewhere.

According to research agency KANTAR (formerly TNS-NIPO), there were already half a million Dutch owners of crypto in 2018. There are probably more now. Bitcoin is, of course, the largest, the most popular and increasingly in the news these days.

Yet Dutch voters in the upcoming elections do not know what political parties in the Netherlands think of Bitcoin. That is in almost no election program.

Whether you are for or against – without some guidance, a well-considered choice is actually not possible. We therefore asked political parties: what is your position with regard to Bitcoin?

Various parties sent a response, which you can read below. The order is based on the number of seats they now have in the House of Representatives. Some parties did not respond despite several requests. In those cases, we have tried at the bottom of the article to find relevant previous statements from these parties, in order to provide some guidance.

  • VVD
  • CDA
  • Green Left
  • SP
  • Animal party
  • SGP
  • Forum for Democracy
  • Pirate party
  • Libertarian Party
  • D66
  • PVP
  • Labor Party
  • Christian Union
  • YES21

People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD)

The VVD is currently the largest party in the House of Representatives with 32 seats. Member of Parliament Roald van der Linde responded on behalf of the VVD:

The VVD and cryptocurrencies

What the VVD thinks about crypto currencies. Do you have a moment? I step back and look at the entire financial sector. A few years ago I predicted in the economist magazine ESB that the traditional retail bank will no longer exist in ten years’ time. Bank branches, ATMs, offices with a lot of overhead: it is becoming unaffordable and customers are getting more and more alternatives. Almost everything can be done via your smartphone.

There will be new entrants with new applications. These can be big techs, interested in our payment behavior, or starters who collaborate with existing banks. And then it’s not crazy to fantasize about a new global currency.

I personally do not believe that currency is bitcoin or any other existing crypto. Something goes wrong with that. The idea of a global currency has disappeared behind the pyramid scheme that is now going on. Sudden increases or decreases may indicate large-scale manipulations. You see transactions that would be punishable on the stock exchange. The payment traffic in those cryptos is especially popular among criminals.

Do we want to ban the existing cryptos? No. The VVD believes that people should mainly know for themselves what they do with their money. We do want the government to protect people against abuse. You don’t need new rules for that classic government task. We already have rules for payments, for investing and for gambling, and we can use them.

I myself am convinced that there will be a crypto coin that can withstand abuse in the coming years. One that is stable in value, can process large volumes in a short time and whose origin is traceable. The latter has become indispensable due to the new anti-money laundering rules.

I know how much resistance that provokes among the ‘believers’, but no one wants a black money machine. And once that stable crypto is there, nothing stands in the way of large-scale application. Worldwide, lightning fast, available to everyone. We think that’s a great development!”

Roald van der Linde, Member of Parliament for the VVD

Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA)

The CDA is the party of Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra and is represented in the House of Representatives with 19 seats. We received the following response from the Head of Policy of the House of Representatives:

“The CDA is moderately positive about blockchain and digital currencies, but what we must first recognize is that blockchain is still in its infancy. The evolution of blockchain technology is moving at lightning speed: Where about 10 years ago we had 10 bitcoin transactions on a good day there are now about 300,000 and smart contracts, parallel chains and other terms within the community are on the rise.

The volatility in the price of crypto coins should be watched out for: In the past month, the value of bitcoin has both doubled and decreased by a quarter. Tweets from Elon Musk and others who are causing the price to fluctuate enormously show that it is still a very risky product.

Good steps are currently being taken in scalability and energy consumption, there is still a lot to be achieved in this area, for example by setting up a solid proof-of-stake system. Unfortunately, the general acceptance of altcoins with these methods is still low, so that investments are mainly made in bitcoin, which costs too much energy. We are therefore looking forward to developments such as Ethereum 2.0

The CDA does not see digital currency as a replacement for the current monetary system in the short term.”

Green Left

Groenlinks is currently represented in the House of Representatives with 14 seats. A Finance policy officer sent us the Groenlinks position below:

GroenLinks and Bitcoin

GroenLinks is a strong supporter of a more diverse financial sector. The innovation that goes with this must therefore be better stimulated. The technology behind Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, blockchain, has that innovative power. That is extremely interesting, especially because we do not yet know exactly what this will bring us in the future. However, more environmentally friendly alternatives must be used for mining cryptocurrencies, which consume a lot of energy.

For GroenLinks, the most important thing is that innovations are used for social added value. For example, by gaining insight into the food chain via blockchain technology. GroenLinks therefore wholeheartedly supports further experiments with central bank digital currency (CBDC), for example by De Nederlandsche Bank.

At the same time, it is important to keep a grip on the side effects of innovations. To protect consumers and keep our financial system safe. The price of Bitcoin is very volatile. It has so far proved to be more of a speculative tool than a stable new currency. For some investors this leads to large profits, but for just as many investors to tears and large losses. That is why GroenLinks is in favor of European regulation of the supply of and trade in Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. Good steps are now being taken on that point, which GroenLinks supports. In this way we gain more insight into trading platforms, consumers are better informed about the associated risks, and we make it as difficult as possible for white-collar criminals to use cryptocurrencies for their money laundering activities.”

Socialist Party (SP)

The SP also has 14 seats in the House of Representatives. Member of Parliament Mahir Alkaya is well known in the Bitcoin community, but unfortunately he was unable to contribute due to time constraints. Instead, he referred us to his earlier statements.

On LekkerCryptisch we found an extensive article in which he describes his vision. A number of excerpts are listed below, but also read the full and more extensive article on LekkerCryptisch.nl.

Bitcoin is here to stay: embrace it !

At the time of writing this, the price of bitcoin is hovering around $38,000. Again almost twice as high as the previous record, set at the end of 2017. The advance ended three years ago just below $ 20,000, after which the price collapsed sharply. This ended the hype in which speculators inflated the bubble a little further week after week.

This time it’s different. Of course – as in any market – there are still speculators who gamble on bitcoin. A crucial difference from 2017 is the involvement of professional investors who buy bitcoin en masse and drive up its price?Ǫ

…Analysis of bitcoin’s underlying ledger shows that transactions are growing on average, confirming this trend. Together, these major players send a clear signal: bitcoin has an interesting value proposition and is sufficiently safe and liquid for large and even conservative players. The same analysis also shows that improper use of bitcoin is decreasing, to only 0.34 percent of all transactions in 2020.

Only a week after I was installed in the House of Representatives, in January 2018, a round table discussion about cryptocurrencies took place. While political parties were talking about a ‘casino game’ and the possibilities of banning bitcoin, I advocated jumping on this moving train and investigating a digital currency of our own. In the years that followed, this form was given its own name: digital central bank money.

In recent years, the legal position of bitcoin has become clearer in many countries, including the Netherlands. Supervision, taxation and ownership are better documented. While there is much to criticize about the way the Dutch government has done this ??? the fact that there are only 16 crypto companies registered with DNB speaks volumes ??? this seems to have increased confidence in the stability of bitcoin. Bitcoin started as an anarchist digital protest against big financial institutions and unfair monetary policies, and twelve years later it is gaining acceptance in the financial system. This trend is one of the drivers of the power struggle, still under the surface, over the future of our money system…

…Bitcoin has been around for more than a decade and is increasingly proving itself as a stable, digital, alternative value carrier. ?ǣBitcoin is the gold of the 21st century,?ǥ Citi analyst Tom Fitzpatrick wrote in a recent report. And the increasing interest of institutional investors in bitcoin proves him right…

…It is up to politicians to accompany these financial and technological changes rather than against them. Money creation, payment transactions and monetary policy must be public tasks and be carried out by the government. Digital central bank money and a public depository bank can be the first steps for this. Keeping cash accessible and fully accepted is also less and less in the safe hands of commercial banks. Sooner or later the government will have to be prepared to step in.

In the money system of the 21st century, bitcoin will undoubtedly also play a role. If it’s digital gold – digital, yet scarce. You don’t have to own bitcoin to see its value, or to call yourself a bitcoiner. The reality is: bitcoin is here to stay. The question is how we in the Netherlands deal with the changing world around us. Do we take on a leadership role, with an innovative business climate to match, or do we only follow after other countries have a big lead on us?”

Source: LekkerCryptisch

Party for the Animals (PvdD)

We received the position below from an employee of the PvdD’s press office. The PvdD currently has 5 seats in the House of Representatives.

The Party for the Animals about Bitcoin!

Bitcoin (and bitcoin-like payment systems) itself has become a speculative medium, fueling bubbles. As such, bitcoins pose one of many risks to the stability of the already unstable financial system. In addition, bitcoins slurp energy. It is therefore a polluting means of payment.

However, not all is doom and gloom. Behind the bitcoins is a technology that, like any technology, can be used for good and for evil: blockchain. Blockchain allows transactions to be recorded immutably and completely in successive steps, without being easily traceable to people’s identities. This offers possibilities for reliably recording the origin of products or recording CO2 emissions. Blockchain can therefore provide more transparency in production chains. And this in turn could contribute to corporate social responsibility and further sustainability of the financial sector.

Political Reformed Party (SGP)

The SGP has three seats in the House of Representatives. We received the following short point of view from one of the policy officers of the SGP:

“The SGP believes that digital currencies, such as Bitcoin, should be handled very carefully and with restraint. Of course, the use of this currency and also the use of blockchain technology, for example, offers opportunities, but we must also face the threats. there are many risks and dangers to using digital currencies. But, as mentioned, there are also advantages to using Bitcoin. For example, it makes the financial sector more diverse and its use can stimulate innovation. It is important that both sides of the coin in the development of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin.”

Forum for Democracy (FvD)

The FvD currently has two seats in the House of Representatives. A press officer of the FvD sent us the following response:

“Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and numerous other cryptocurrencies have sprung up like mushrooms in recent years. For many people, Bitcoin has become a synonym for Blockchain, this is obviously not correct. Bitcoin is a digital currency that runs on Blockchain.

Blockchain is a fairly new technology that can unleash a revolution, similar to the rise of the internet. Life without the internet has become unthinkable nowadays, expectations are that this will also be the case for the Blockchain. When the internet emerged, it was viewed with a lot of skepticism, people asked: what good is it for me? Until email and websites were invented.

At the moment, no life-changing techniques have been developed on the Blockchain, but there are already quite a few initiatives that look promising. Ethereum, for example, with Ethereum you can conclude ‘smart contracts’. This allows two parties to conclude a contract without the intervention of a notary.

Bitcoin is the most famous cryptocurrency, FVD is a proponent of this kind of initiative. Because the value of Bitcoin is created naturally, unlike the Euro or the Dollar, people have more and more confidence in Bitcoin. Especially in times of economic crisis, you see that more and more people invest in Bitcoins, similar to how people invest in gold in uncertain times.

Because the Blockchain is so transparent, all transactions can be viewed and tracked, which offers solutions to, for example, combat marketplace fraud. It also allows large companies to make transactions without delay and without the intervention of a bank. It also has a downside, because it also – unfortunately – offers outcomes for the criminal world. Criminals can make large transactions quickly, easily and anonymously.

In short, the Blockchain and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin look promising, the technology is still in its infancy, but we can expect a lot from it.”

Pirate party

In previous elections, the Pirate Party had just too few votes for a seat in the House of Representatives. We received the following position from the Pirate Party regarding Bitcoin from party leader Matthijs Pontier:

Pirate party over bitcoin

The Pirate Party opposes monopolization and concentrations of power. That is why the party is enthusiastic about decentralized systems. The Pirate Party therefore sees cryptocurrency and other complementary payment systems as a good way to become less dependent on banks. Unfortunately, we have seen that accounts of journalistic organisations, activists and other organizations that oppose large concentrations of power are sometimes removed from major international payment platforms without judicial intervention. Bitcoin offers the guarantee that a donation to such a good cause will actually arrive.

As an international human rights movement, the Pirate Party stands for the right to privacy. We therefore also stand for the right to be able to pay small amounts anonymously, both in cash and digitally. The seller does not need to know who is paying. The fact that payment has been made is sufficient. As far as the Pirate Party is concerned, Dutch bitcoin companies do not have to verify the identities of their customers for small payments (under ??10,000).

The DNB keeps coming up with unclear and ever-changing rules, with bitcoin companies being more strictly regulated than banks and insurers. For the management of each Bitcoin address, the identity of the beneficiary would have to be verified through a technical wallet verification, no matter how small the amount. This made transactions from and to third parties practically unworkable, because the beneficiary must then also be verified.

Moreover, this Dutch implementation of the European directive AMLD5 is stricter than in other EU member states. This is at the expense of the emerging Dutch bitcoin sector. It also creates a lot of unnecessary hassle for consumers and harms their privacy.

The Pirate Party does not want to subject trade in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to stricter rules than other valuable goods, such as jewellery.

The Pirate Party previously paid for their election participation in Bitcoin. You can support the Pirate Party with a donation via Bitcoin.

Libertarian Party (LP)

Party leader Robert Valentine responded on behalf of the Libertarian Party. He referred to the text below on the LP’s website. The LP currently has no seats in the House of Representatives.

Bitcoin and Blockchain: Towards a tax-free legal tender !

Bitcoin and other blockchain currencies have enormous potential in a free society. They provide a haven of value for those who have less confidence in government-manipulated currencies such as the euro or dollar. Currencies held by central banks are subject to inflation. The money tap in Frankfurt and Washington DC is constantly open without an equal amount of value being created.

The LP favors crypto payment instruments. We want to abolish tax on this. The government must also stipulate that it will not set up a legal framework for this in the next ten years. Existing regulations will be abolished.

As far as we are concerned, adopting Bitcoin as legal tender is recommended.

The Bitcoin protocol shows the whole world the power of decentralization. Without control over the immense computing power of the network, no one can crack or manipulate the coin.

The LP sees bitcoin as digital cash; an anonymous way to pay and that’s fine. We would like to see the Dutch government accept payments in bitcoin. It could even hold some of its foreign exchange in this currency, a reserve like gold.

Blockchain is transparent due to its open source character, which could make it work well for digital elections. The Swiss are already testing voting via blockchain, the Dutch can do that too!

Bitcoin traders in our country are still obliged to register with De Nederlandsche Bank. Identity of customers must be verified by them. This means an identification obligation for consumers. The LP wants to get rid of that. Because what’s in your digital cut is nobody’s business as far as we’re concerned.

Bitcoin is essentially an ideal means of payment without the need for a supervisory body, so a major role that governments have lovingly but also with a lot of manipulation has lost here.

LP advocated:

  1. Research into Bitcoin as a money standard in the Netherlands.
  2. Cryptocurrencies tax-free, both the coin and the appreciation.
  3. What is on so-called ‘wallets’ remains private. No identification requirement, no new legislation!
  4. Lifting the registration obligation for starting companies in crypto payment instruments.”

Source: L.P

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