EU’s crypto queen falls at a crucial time

In legislative terms, the crypto world is still in flux. And as the dust settles from the FTX collapse, MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) are wondering how to tackle this wild west of finance and technology.

There is an element of political drama in the mix. On December 9, Eva Kelli, the so-called “queen of crypto” of the European Union Parliament, was arrested on corruption charges that rocked the 27-member bloc. Police seized phones, computers and €600,000 in cash from Calley and three other people, who have since been charged with corruption. Prosecutors suspect Cali of receiving illegal money for lobbying on behalf of Qatar, the recent host of the soccer World Cup.

Several hundred euros were found in a suitcase in a Brussels hotel, and €150,000 in Callie’s apartment. Police searched 19 houses and Callie’s father was among those arrested. Her family’s assets in Greece have been frozen ever since.

Kelly has rejected the corruption allegations, saying he is innocent and has “nothing to do with bribery from Qatar”.

While his arrest has fascinated politicians and EU watchers, it also presents another uneasy association with the crypto industry. After the downfalls of Terraform Labs and FTX, the average onlooker could be forgiven for thinking that the industry is full of crooks. The arrest of Eva Kelly only adds to that ugly picture.

It doesn’t help that she was one of the industry’s most trusted advocates.

Prior to her arrest and suspension, Eva Kelly was one of the most trusted advocates of crypto for EU crypto.

2023 will be an important year for EU crypto

Kelly was also one of the few crypto advocates on the political left. She was also a senior member of parliament, serving as one of the fourteen deputy speakers from January 2022 until she was arrested and charged with corruption in December 2022. Kelly, a former TV presenter, was considered one of the more glamorous legislators on the continent. Tabloid newspapers have referred to him as one of the sexiest politicians on the block.

Dutch socialist Paul Tang told Politico, “She was a cheerleader, but already isolated on the left side of the political spectrum.” “If there’s any lesson to be learned from this, the next cheerleader should be neat.”

The next year will also be important for crypto businesses, lobbyists and advocates. The Markets in Crypto Assets (MICA) regulation harmonizes crypto asset regulations across the bloc, establishing a common standard. The regulation will go into full effect in late 2024 at the earliest, during an adaptation period of 12-18 months for MICA. However, the French financial regulator has already requested tighter regulations.

On January 9, the chair of the country’s Financial Markets Authority (AMF), Marie-Anne Barbut Lana, wants to make licensing mandatory for registered crypto companies. Barbat-Lyani said, “The AMF, like Parliament, calls for quick steps to introduce a regime of compulsory licensing for non-registered providers”. Competition,

France is unlikely to be the last in the bloc to demand similar rules. Calls for a similar formalization are likely to grow from within the European Parliament.

Other MEPs Have a Lot to Say About Crypto

One of the MEPs with the loudest voices in the crypto industry is center-left Dutch MEP Paul Tang. He has strongly advocated for tighter scrutiny of unhosted (or non-custodial) wallets. In his view, the identity of non-custodial wallet owners needed verification to avoid funds falling into criminal hands.

Tang has also pointed to coordinated “smurfing” as a risk. Smurfing is the practice of splitting a large amount of money into several smaller transactions in order to avoid regulatory scrutiny.

in a twitter Thread In March last year he said:

“These are important tools to fight money laundering/terrorist financing. Some crypto-lobbyists will not like the extra work. But being a part of our society comes with obligations. Banks already fight criminal money Crypto-Bro must step up to the plate and do so.

However, last July, Tang and co-workers failed to include an unhosted wallet in a money laundering check. He told CoinDesk at the time that “we cannot focus solely on the regulated sector while keeping the backdoor open for large unknown crypto inflows.” Throughout 2022, Tang was often the target of vitriolic abuse from members of the crypto community because of his campaign.

Balancing consumer protection and innovation, say MEPs

An MEP with an arguably more balanced approach is Portuguese MEP Lidia Periera, who also comes from the centre-right. Pereira, who is 31, has previously highlighted crypto’s young user base as a reason for taking the industry seriously. His view is that the EU should balance consumer protection measures and maximize opportunities. She told the video series Take a Look: “On the one hand, we have to provide investor protection. On the other hand, we have huge potential to harness innovation in the European market.

We cannot just be on “one side of the barricade,” he said.

Dr. Stefan Berger is another candidate to become the leading crypto voice in parliament. Like Pereira, his views are both moderate and pro-crypto. German MEPs generally favor a balance between clear and fair regulation with the promotion of innovation. He previously wrote in a blog about the need for the Euro CBDC and for the European Union to be a crypto-friendly environment.

“A digital euro would complement cash, not replace it,” he said. “Europe must set standards rather than follow others, and a digital euro will be proof of progress and integration in Europe. In the meantime, monetary authorities are called upon to rebuild trust in the financial system.”


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