Although there are not many startups using Bitcoin in Belgium, the country seems receptive for the idea as according to Belgium’s finance minister he has no problem with the crypto-currency. Replying to a parliamentary question Minister of finance Koen Geens said that he wouldn’t see the Belgian National bank having any objection to Bitcoin as for the moment its use is limited to a handful of traders.
Privacy and anonymity have been major contention for the governments as they consider that due to these two features Bitcoin can be used for contraband activities and money-laundering. However, Mr. Geens says that though privacy and anonymity are still a part of Bitcoin he does not think the crypto-currency is being used on a large scale for money laundering.
Earlier, the German finance minister in a response whether the virtual currency Bitcoin was considered private money had admitted that he did not see any problem. Now, Belgium too is falling on the same line as the Minister of Finance Koen Geens does not see anything wrong with Bitcoin being used and almost gives NOC.
According to him the Belgian financial control system is strong enough to detect any large amount of exchange taking place in Bitcoin. Thus, the apprehension for money laundering can easily be tackled. However, as even the Finance Minister admitted, there are no Bitcoin startups yet and as such no Bitcoin economy.
Bitcoin Foundation has just started its Belgian chapter which is headed by Chris D’Costa. According to Chris D’Costa the Belgian Bitcoin economy has yet to develop. He agrees with Mr. Geens, the Minister of Finance and admits that there really aren’t many startups using Bitcoin in Belgium.
The lack of Bitcoin economy in Belgium was a major motivating factor that led Chris D’Costa to form the Foundation Chapter. He aims to bring about some education into the start-up scene and hopes it will soon be getting better as there are some promising signs like biweekly meet-ups that are creating some innovative projects including the first full Bitcoin client on Raspberry Pi.
The Bitcoin Foundation is all set to strengthen its Belgian chapter and for that it will be holding elections for board members in October this year. The organization will also be following a similar non-profit strategy to the main US-based Foundation where it expects that legal and financial experts will be the part of the board or advisory.
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