Last December, Eva Kaili, who was one of the vice presidents of the EU Parliament, was arrested and charged with corruption related to illicit donations from Qatar.

On December 9, Eva Kaili, the so-called “Crypto Queen” of the EU Parliament, was arrested on corruption charges that have rocked the 27-member bloc.

Police raids seized phones, computers, and cash worth 600,000 euros from Kaili and three others, who have since been accused of corruption. Prosecutors suspect that Kaili took illicit funds to lobby on behalf of Qatar, the recent host of the soccer World Cup.

Kaili has dismissed the corruption allegations, saying she is innocent and “has nothing to do with the Qatari bribery.”

While her arrest has captivated EU politicians and observers, it also presents another uneasy association with the industry. Following the collapse of Terraform Labs and FTX, the average viewer can be forgiven for thinking that the industry is full of crooks.

The arrest of Eva Kaili only adds to that ugly picture. It doesn’t help that she was one of the most trusted advocates in the industry.

2023, a Crucial Year for Cryptocurrencies in the EU

Kaili was also one of the few cryptocurrency advocates on the political left. She was also a ranking member of Parliament, serving as one of the fourteen vice presidents from January 2022 until she was arrested and charged with corruption in December 2022.

The coming year will be crucial for crypto companies, lobbyists, and advocates. The Crypto Asset Market Regulation (MICA) harmonizes the rules for crypto assets across the block, establishing a common standard.

During the adaptation period of 12 to 18 months for MICA, the regulation will take effect by the end of 2024 at the earliest. However, the French financial regulator has already called for stricter rules.

Other MEPs Have a Lot to Say about Crypto

One of the loudest-voiced MPs in the cryptocurrency industry is center-left Dutch MP Paul Tang. He has fiercely advocated for stricter scrutiny of non-hosted (or non-custodial) wallets.

An MP with a possibly more balanced outlook is Lidia Periera, a Portuguese MEP who also hails from the centre-right. Her view is that the EU must balance consumer safeguards and maximize opportunities.

Dr. Stefan Berger is another candidate to be the leading cryptocurrency voice in parliament. Like Pereira, his views are moderate and pro-crypto. The German MP generally favors a balance between clear and fair regulation and the promotion of innovation.

He previously blogged about the need for a Euro CBDC and for the EU to be a crypto-friendly environment.

“A digital euro would complement cash, not replace it,” he said. “Europe must set standards instead of following those of others, and a digital euro would be the proof of progress and integration in Europe. Meanwhile, the monetary authorities are called upon to rebuild confidence in the financial system.”

By Audy Castaneda


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