BERLIN, September 24 (Reuters) – German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz pledged Thursday to accelerate eurozone financial reforms aimed at regulating crypto assets and deepening capital markets, which he said could help accelerate the economic recovery from COVID-19.
Scholz said he welcomes the European Commission’s latest proposals for regulation of crypto assets and the underlying blockchain technology used in private sector projects such as Facebook’s Libra stablecoin.
“This is an important proposal to make the European financial sector really strong. My goal is to advance the discussion quickly,” said Scholz, adding that this also applies to the Commission’s proposal to expand the bloc’s capital markets.
As Germany currently holds the rotating presidency of the 27-member bloc, Scholz said he would put both reform packages on the agenda for the next EU finance ministers meeting on October 6.
“With this package we can promote innovation in the financial sector so that Europe sets the standard around the world,” said Scholz.
Scholz added that the proposal to deepen the capital market could help the region recover more quickly from the coronavirus shock.
“To get out of the crisis with full strength, especially small and medium companies need good access to capital market financing,” he said.
The European Commission on Thursday laid out plans to create what its officials described as the world’s most comprehensive set of rules for crypto assets and the blockchain technology that underlies it.
EU policymakers have said that Facebook shouldn’t be allowed to launch Libra stablecoin – a cryptocurrency designed to reduce price volatility – in the block until the proper rules are put in place. (Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Jan Harvey)
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