The use of new technologies such as blockchain or artificial intelligence has recently been in the spotlight and is gaining increasing acceptance from governments around the world.
On Sunday, September 26, Germans voted in parliamentary elections that marked the end of Angela Merkel’s 16-year rule. Since 2005, Germany has experienced a deep crisis, but also experienced unprecedented prosperity. Merkel’s departure creates a power vacuum, but also creates an opportunity for a fresh start – without exception from the crypto sector. But what might this new beginning look like and what are the German parties planning to do to help the cryptocurrency market and new technologies like blockchain?
Cointelegraph examined election data, searched for keywords such as “cryptocurrency,” “blockchain,” or “digital euro,” and asked the parties what they thought about regulating the cryptocurrency market.
Social Democratic Party – 206 seats won
The relationship between the center-left Social Democratic Party (SDP) and cryptocurrency can be explained in a nutshell: the cryptocurrency market does not seem to play a role for Germany’s largest political party, which has a majority of its members. Words like “bitcoin” or “cryptocurrencies” seem to have been forgotten by the party in Manifesto for the Future, the title of the SPD’s election manifesto.
Only in one place is there a negative mention of private cryptocurrencies, such as the Facebook Diem project or the so-called stack coins. There is not even a digital euro in the SPD electoral document.
Two “brotherly” parties, the CDU and the CSU, known as the Union, won 196 seats.
Until mid-2019, the central parties of the CDU / CSU were critical to the cryptocurrency, after which the party launched its own blockchain strategy. According to CDU / CSU, blockchain technology has great potential and Germany will become the world leader in blockchain. 90% of the actions (40 out of 44) of the blockchain strategy have already been initiated, including such important milestones as the entry into force of the German digital securities law. The consortium wants to keep pushing pilot blockchain projects forward.
In the case of cryptocurrencies, CDU / CSU requires progressive but responsible regulation and stricter KYC rules. The campaign manifesto reads as follows:
“Acquisition of property by payment in cash should only be possible by banks, which must first confirm the identity of the purchaser and the origin of the money within the framework of an existing business relationship; the same applies to exchanging cash for cryptocurrency and vice versa. ”
On the other hand, tokenized securities are much more CDU / CSU oriented and are openly protected by the party. The digital euro as a fast, simple and secure way of payment and as an alternative to cash also seems important for the CDU / CSU, but according to the party, “cautious steps must be taken”.
Alliance 90 / The Greens – 118 seats
Greens understand the importance of blockchain technology, but want to keep this innovation under the control of the state. According to Lisa Bose, a spokesman for the Green Party, she told Cointelegraph that cryptocurrencies carry risks such as “massive energy consumption, abuse by criminals and exaggerated speculation.” “Basically, as with any innovation in the financial sector, the same rules should apply as for other classic financial products in terms of consumer protection, transparency and financial stability,” she said.
In fact, the Greens support the European Central Bank’s plans to create its own digital euro. According to Paus, the EU needs its own infrastructure in the financial sector to ensure its sovereignty, as well as the international role of the euro. She said:
“It is important for us that the digital euro provides data and legal certainty for consumers and businesses and does not threaten financial stability. With the digital euro, we can also counter unnecessary spending caused by oligopolies. However, the digital euro does not replace classic money, but complements it. ”
Like the SPD, the Greens reject private coins or stack coins. The party fears a weakening of state control over the currency and therefore wants to take decisive measures against it.
The Election Manifesto of the Green Party also intends to completely eliminate tax incentives for investments in cryptocurrency for a period of more than one year.
Germany currently taxes cryptocurrencies or precious metals such as gold or silver only if they are sold in the same year they were purchased. Thus, cryptocurrency traders who use digital assets for long-term financial investments and often do not transfer them can receive tax-free profits in Germany.
According to the Greens, no matter how long you keep it, sooner or later the state will want to cut it out.