A Foretaste of EU Style Regulation of Crypto Assets?
A recent European Union Ombudsman investigation looked into a claim that one of the winners of a €1 million 2018 EIC Horizon Prize on Blockchains for Social Good infringed intellectual property rights by copying an existing German utility patent. The EU Ombudsman claimed it was not the EU Commission’s job to sort out such details and that it was a matter for national courts. The Ombudsman however did apply a limp noodle swipe to the EU Commission and suggested in the future that EU Commission at least warn contestants: “About the Commission’s approach to related intellectual property disputes.” That is to say the EU Commission will pass responsibility to others regardless of circumstances or bad conduct.
This nonchalant attitude matches up with the dangerous EU Commission overall position on crypto assets. The EU Commission wants to write the rules but then pass all responsibility for enforcement to the “national authorities.” This means victims of the annual multibillion crypto crime fraud swindles out of the EU, will have to hope the national authorities in such crypto crime spree friendly jurisdictions as Latvia, Bulgaria, and Cyprus will provide relief to foreign victims and judicially stanch their bleeding wounds.
According to Dr. Jonathan Levy, the lawyer who represents crypto asset crime victims and also represented the complainant in the Ombudsman case, the EU Commission is aiding and abetting crypto crime: “The EU Commission wants control over crypto but not the responsibility; therefore, multibillion Euro Ponzi schemes like OneCoin in Bulgaria continues using the EU’s own ccTLD .eu and victims are left with nowhere to go for relief.” Dr. Levy admonished the EU Commission: “The Bulgarian authorities have not prosecuted a single OneCoin criminal, including their own citizen Ruja Ignatova who has made off with 230,000 Bitcoins – the conclusion is obvious. Bulgaria and other Commission members are in bed with crypto scammers.”
Victims’ groups represented by Dr. Levy are requesting the EU Parliament overrule the EU Commission and implement a .0001 cent fee on crypto asset transactions. Crypto asset volume is thought to exceed €50 billion daily in the EU. The funds collected would go towards a victim fund that would address anyone harmed by crypto asset crime and fraud. Dr. Levy points out the alternative is: “The current policy on crypto asset relief in the EU is a joke; the national authorities have no interest in protecting or helping victims; the crypto corruption in some EU member states is wide and deep and represents the transfer of billions of Euros of wealth each year to organized crime which in turn buys political influence and protection. As other countries have already realized, an unchecked crypto asset regime undermines national security. Protection starts first with addressing the needs of victims and taking the profit out of crypto crime and fraud.”
The EU Commission has other plans, it reward criminal and plagiarists and will let the member states sort it out. As for the €1 million Blockchains for Social Good prize and similar multimillions passed out since 2018 by the EU Commission, enabling crypto fraud while kicking the victim is the Brussel’s way of “regulating” crypto assets.
Decision on how the European Commission dealt with a complaint that a winner of the EIC Horizon Prize on Blockchains for Social Good infringed intellectual property rights (case 1756/2020/VS)
Petition No 0421/2020 by Jonathan Levy (US) on the need to set up a crypto assets fund for crypto crime victims
EU Commission Reply in Opposition to Petition No 0421/2020 by Jonathan Levy (US) on the need to set up a crypto assets fund for crypto crime victims
Editorial Note: A corporate affiliate of The Bitcoin News was the complainant in case 1756/2020/VS.