The Polish parliament held a first-of-its-kind open discussion on Bitcoin, on October 3rd, 2016. The meeting, broadcast live, gave attendees a chance to hear cryptocurrency experts voice their concerns and discuss the country’s current climate for cryptocurrency innovation.
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Embrace Innovation or Risk Falling Behind
Parliament member and economist Mirosław Suchoń organized the meeting, the first of its kind in Poland, together with the Polish Bitcoin Society. Everyone from local Bitcoin community members to academics, lawyers, economists, and government officials joined in.
Lecturers included academics Dr. Konrad Zacharzewski, Dr. Krzysztof Piech and Prof. Marian Srebrny; legal experts Jacek Czarnecki and Dr. Krzysztof Korus; Maciej Jędrzejczyk from IBM, business advisor Tomasz Kibil, and Polish Bitcoin Society representatives Filip Pawczyński and Lech Wilczyński.
The Polish government appeared to be “highly interested” in the matter, according to BitBay, the country’s most popular cryptocurrency exchange. Bitcoin is legal to use in Poland, albeit treated as property — thus it is no surprise regulation was a main concern. The company explained in a press release:
It is important to acknowledge that new technologies have to be regulated by the law in a way that won’t hurt the investors and that’s why the debate was very important for the Bitcoin enthusiasts in Poland.
Most noteworthy, Polish officials appeared receptive at the event, echoing statements made earlier this year by a Russian official. State officials said the country should help cryptocurrency startups grow, allowing Poland to embrace the potentially disruptive technology, rather than wait for other countries to take the lead.
Startups Should Work with Polish Gov’t
BitBay CEO Sylwester Suszek underlined the need to cooperate with government institutions to accommodate anyone wanting to get into Bitcoin. Local cryptocurrency businesses can play an importing role in this process by detailing what obstacles they face.
In return, the government could provide Bitcoin startups with crucial data they currently lack, Suszek added. Doing so would help detect potential fraud and also make Bitcoin businesses more transparent, facilitating growth.
The meeting was a unique approach to cryptocurrency legislation in Poland, according to BitBay. Such cooperation gives hope for a bright future for Bitcoin and other altcoins in the country.
Poland’s Ministry of Administration and Digitization is currently working with a group of specialists on a project called “Blockchain and cryptocurrencies stream.” The aim is to facilitate cryptocurrency market development, digital security and e-administration solutions. Additionally, the project will educate the public, support businesses, and develop new ways to make cryptocurrencies a safer, faster and better payment method in the future.
For more about the state-sponsored project, go here (in Polish).
Do you think Bitcoin businesses need government and regulatory support to succeed? Let us know in the comments below!
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