A member of the Democratic Party in Italy Lucrezia Ricchiuti seems to be intent on declaring war on bitcoin in the country. Ricchiuti is firmly convinced that this popular crypto-currency is related to online casino businesses ran by the members of the mafia. She also warns that broader application of bitcoins will create opportunities to use the gambling industry in the country to avoid paying taxes.
A Systematic Risk
The way things stand right now, online gambling operators are allowed to open a site that caters to Italian players and accepts bitcoin as a payment method. However, lawmakers are of the belief that certain changes need to be introduced. The current situation with bitcoin represents what they call a „systematic risk.“
The anonymity of this crypto-currency doesn’t sit well with politicians in most European countries, so Italy is hardly an exception. The infamous Silk Road affair certainly did no favors to bitcoin, as the US government busted an extensive online criminal network that used the crypto-currency as the main payment method. After that, bitcoin has never really recovered in the eyes of most people, despite the fact, its popularity continued to grow.
New Approach to Bitcoin
It is unclear what exactly Ms. Ricchhiuti plans to do regarding the bitcoin. Many believe that her accusations linking the crypto-currency with mafia operations lack foundations, simply because the total transaction volume seems way too low.
In addition to this, there is also the fact that bitcoin isn’t as anonymous as some would like to believe. While the personal information is often not revealed, all bitcoin transactions can be easily tracked and traced by practically anyone. This is due to the nature of the underlying blockchain technology, which exists to ensure a fair and safe environment for all users.
Creating More Transparency
Bitcoin is a legal payment method in the European Union. Right now, residents of the EU member-countries are free to use bitcoin or any other crypto-currencies as they like. However, European Union officials are trying hard to introduce certain measures to counter anonymous trading.
Through these practices, governments hope to get the upper hand in their struggle against financing terrorism and other illegal activities. While it has many upsides, bitcoin isn’t without its dark side, and these two need to be reconciled if crypto-currencies are ever to enter the mainstream trading system in full.