Members of the European Parliament have voted to abstain from developing new regulative measures for blockchain systems, aiming to prompt innovation.

According to media reports, MEPs decided to “wait and see” how the technology develops rather than impose any regulation.

“As with any new tech, we are at an early stage. So what we advocate is not to stifle innovation by regulating too early,” believes Jakob von Weizsäcker, a German MP who presented a report on blockchain technology in which he advocated for creating a task force to monitor the technology’s development. He was supported by 542 votes with 51 against and 11 abstaining, but the expressed general intention was to establish a working group that would focus more broadly on fintech rather than solely on blockchain.

Finance Commissioner Jonathan Hill said: 

“I agree that this is both an important and exciting area and I welcome the very balanced approach to keep an eye on developments, embrace the opportunities but be alert to the dangers.”

He added that in the last month the Commission has been actively working on tracing the ways new technologies could be linked to financing terrorism.

The idea to create a blockchain task force within the European Parliament has been already voiced a few times by different actors, including the European Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, which published a draft report on blockchain and virtual currencies.

In April, European Parliament gathered representatives of the world’s leading institutions including World Bank, IMF, OECD, UN and Europol to discuss blockchain during a 4-day conference and a series of panel discussions.

Still, another European institution, namely the European Council, is expected to develop rules for virtual currencies exchange and wallet providers before the end of June, introducing amendments to anti-money laundering and payment services acts.

Maria Rudina