European Parliament to consider virtual currencies

The influential Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (ECON) will hold a public hearing into virtual currencies on Monday 25 January 2016. The Committee is preparing its upcoming own-initiative report on virtual currencies. Panellists will include representatives from the European Commission and the OECD, academia and stakeholders from the private sector including EDCAB - the European Digital Currency and Blockchain Technology Forum.

The hearing is expected to consider new opportunities and benefits for consumers resulting from virtual currencies and their underlying technologies, their challenges and risks, and the role to be played by legislators and public institutions.

The ECON Committee is responsible for Economic and Monetary Union, the regulation of financial services, the free movement of capital and payments, taxation and competition policies, and the international financial system.

The European Parliament is the directly-elected parliamentary institution of the European Union (EU). Together with the European Council and the European Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU, comprising 28 member states and a population of 508 million — the world's third largest population after China and India. Much of Europe's legislation and regulation of financial services and markets, banking and payments emanates from laws made by EU institutions.

The hearing will be web-streamed live from 15:00 Central European Time (CET) / 14:00 GMT

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