Most Europeans Want Individual Nations to Control Crypto, not the EU

An innovative survey conducted for Euronews found that the majority of Europeans want their national governments to control cryptocurrency, but that the development of national digital currencies to demonstrate some monetary independence from the European Union is gaining popularity.

Additionally, the findings revealed that most citizens preferred that their governments control financial matters, while just one-quarter preferred that the EU do so.

Euronews commissioned Redfield & Wilton Strategies to undertake the largest cryptocurrency and financial regulatory survey ever done in Europe.

Over 32,000 people from Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, and Spain took part in the poll, which took place between August 4 and August 10 this year.

Moving away from cash

Considering that the European Commission aims to announce new legislation in September that will provide a new EU-wide legal framework for crypto assets, the findings of this study are particularly pertinent.

In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, the European Union has increased its emphasis on financial stability in the eurozone, which culminated in the formation of a €750 billion COVID-19 recovery fund in June this year.

Additionally, there has been a significant movement away from cash transactions and toward digital transactions, and the European Central Bank (ECB) has closely tracked this development.

However, there was a great deal of debate regarding how much control the European Central Bank should have over the economy of member nations.

Important findings

Almost two-thirds of Greeks, Germans, and Latvians believe that the EU and the European Central Bank intervene too much in their countries’ economies.

The Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies in Brussels, where Dimitar Lilkov works as a research officer, tells Euronews Next that “the decades-long repercussions of the euro crisis may still be felt in countries like Greece and Italy.”

“A significant percentage of individuals continue to believe that the crisis was caused by faulty decisions made at the EU level rather than by flaws in their local banking sector, public debt, and unreformed labor markets,” the report said.

People who thought the ECB’s measures were “nearly adequate” were represented by about one-third of respondents in Lithuania (41%), Spain (39%), Portugal (36%), and Estonia (36%), according to the poll.

Individual governments, rather than the European Union, should be in charge of financial regulation, according to people in Hungary, the Netherlands, and other countries.

As Lilkov points out, financial concerns are mostly decided in European towns rather than in Brussels, as is often the case.

“Even though the eurozone is a monetary union, it does not have a fiscal union. When it comes to fiscal policy, the governments of European countries decide on their national budgets and other financial objectives while working together on fiscal policy “He said it,” he said.

Cryptocurrency regulation in the European Union

When asked whether they supported the concept of developing a national electronic currency to achieve monetary independence from the European Union, respondents had mixed feelings, with the vast majority expressing support for the proposal.

Italy (41 percent), Greece (40 percent), Estonia (39 percent), and Spain (37 percent) were the countries with the highest levels of support, whilst the Netherlands had more opponents than supporters (37 percent).

Germany’s citizens rejected or did not accept the concept in 60 percent of cases.

In general, more than a quarter of those polled stated they were either not in favor of or opposed to such a proposal in some way.

Governments all around the globe are exploring the use of virtual copies of their real currency. These would be comparable to bitcoin, but with the added security of being backed by a central bank. Countries like China, the United States, and the United Kingdom are now investigating the possibility.

While the European Central Bank (ECB) announced in July that it was studying the construction of a digital euro, or “e-euro,” Sweden had already begun a pilot project for its e-krona.

However, for nations that use the euro, adopting the single currency may put an end to their desire for state-specific e-currencies, according to Lilkov.

A hypothetical digital euro, which would be administered by the European Central Bank in collaboration with the eurozone banking sector, “would limit Eurozone nations that decided to adopt a digital currency,” he explained.

“To develop a digital currency other than the euro, a nation such as Greece or the Netherlands would have to withdraw from the European Union (such a hypothetical e-drachma or e-Guilder). This is not going to happen.” I was 50 years old by the time my brother’s children graduated from high school.

Lilkov went on to say that EU nations who are not members of the eurozone will have complete freedom to research and develop potential digital national currencies.

Crypto expertise is in short supply

According to the findings of the study, the majority of Europeans are only vaguely familiar with cryptocurrency. They claim that they are apprehensive about them and thus do not wish to get them.

Just a small percentage of people who possess cryptocurrencies did so for reasons relating to personal gain or the prospect of producing an unusually high rate of return on their investment. According to the results of the poll, Bitcoin is by far the most well-known digital currency on the internet.

Greeks prefer that their government regulate cryptocurrencies, as opposed to allowing businesses to do so. Italians prefer that their government regulate cryptocurrencies, as do 46 percent of Estonians, 41 percent of Dutch, 40 percent of Germans, 40 percent of Latvians, and 37 percent of French residents.

Even though there are now just a small number of cryptocurrency users in the EU, according to the results of the survey, their increasing popularity has sparked a discussion over legislation, its implementation, and who should be in charge of it.

Louise Idel, the European Insights head at Redfield & Wilton Strategies, believes that these issues will be addressed in a poll analysis published on Wednesday for Euronews Next, according to her.

“Either course of action chosen by authorities would, in the short term, have major ramifications for the long-term prospects of crypto assets,” she goes on to say.

If the EU continues to pursue its earlier goal of establishing a CBDC, it will very certainly fail in its endeavor.

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