In the scenario with many countries creating digital currencies CBDCs, a German political figure emerges as a dissonant voice in the discussion about the future of money in Europe. Joana Cotar, member of the Bundestag – the German federal parliament – stands out for her outspoken opposition to the digital euro and her fervent defense of Bitcoin as the solution to a digital financial revolution.
The current European context is marked by the European Union actively preparing to integrate what it considers the future of money. In 2024, the Markets in Cryptoassets Regulation (MiCA) will come into force, representing a milestone in cryptocurrency legislation. In parallel, the EU is advancing the development of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), known as the digital euro. This project is described by De Nederlandsche Bank as an “electronic form of public money”.
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Although many local regulators welcome and praise the potential benefits of the digital euro, acceptance is not unanimous. In Spain, for example, 65% of the population expressed disinterest in the new digital currency. Furthermore, Slovakia has taken steps to protect citizens’ right to use physical money in the face of imminent digital currency.
Cotar positions itself not only against the digital euro, but also as an active proponent of Bitcoin. In a conversation with Cointelegraph, she expressed her views on the risks that the EU’s digital monetary solution presents. Cotar argues that the digital euro could allow central banks to impose limits on payments and ownership, leaving citizens at the mercy of their policies. Furthermore, she highlights concerns about surveillance and a lack of privacy, comparing the potential digital euro to the Chinese social credit system.
On the other hand, the European Central Bank, through Evelien Witlox, assured that it has no interest in users’ personal data, and EU regulators reiterated their commitment to anonymity in digital transactions in euros. However, Cotar remains skeptical and uses her platform to warn about the dangers she associates with the digital euro.
Meanwhile, Cotar channels his efforts into promoting Bitcoin. She leads the “Bitcoin in the Bundestag” initiative, which aims to educate members of the German parliament about the potential and risks associated with this cryptocurrency. She emphasizes the need for a formal committee in the Bundestag that differentiates Bitcoin from other cryptographic assets and discusses its importance for society.
Furthermore, Cotar advocates the use of Bitcoin for paying taxes and fees and the use of Bitcoin mining farms to stabilize the electrical grid. She argues in favor of promoting the freedom aspects of Bitcoin, such as permissionless access and individual sovereignty, while also recognizing the need to combat associated risks, such as money laundering and other illegal activities.
Cotar sees his ideas as not only pertinent to Germany, but also transferable to other international contexts, advocating global cooperation to develop a general standard for Bitcoin and its cross-border use.
Finally, when asked about other cryptocurrencies, Cotar maintains her exclusive focus on Bitcoin, reaffirming her commitment to this specific initiative.
As the European Union moves forward with the “preparation phase” for the digital euro project, Cotar’s position highlights the continued diversity of opinions and strategies in the world of cryptocurrencies.
The views and opinions expressed by the author, or anyone mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment or other advice. Investing or trading cryptocurrencies carries a risk of financial loss.