POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

Gramegna says wait and see on blockchain legislation



Luxembourg finance minister Pierre Gramegna, pictured, says a blockchain task force already exists Maison moderne/archives

Luxembourg finance minister Pierre Gramegna, pictured, says a blockchain task force already exists Maison moderne/archives

Luxembourg is already well equipped in the field of blockchain, the finance minister has said, responding to calls for the creation of a blockchain task force at government level.

On Tuesday morning, finance and budget committee members discussed Laurent Mosar’s motion on distributed ledger technology (DLT) and blockchain technology.

Finance minister Pierre Gramegna pointed out that the financial centre high committee (HCPF) already serves as a task force and is studying the need for further legislation to regulate blockchain technology financial service providers. “It was also the HCPF that gave impetus for the creation of the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology (LHoFT). Other players involved in this area are the CSSF financial center regulator, the University of Luxembourg's Interdisciplinary Center for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) and Luxembourg for Finance”, Gramegna explained.

According to the minister 15 out of 128 active fintech companies in Luxembourg are specialised in cryptocurrencies and blockchain. The lack of regulation around the former appeared to create the greatest concern among members. Gramegna said the same rules on the taxation of capital gains apply to cryptocurrency transactions, which are currently VAT exempt.

Finance is not the only area which could benefit from blockchain technology--indeed, it can be used to digitalise communication, energy and transport for smarter more sustainable use of resources, as outlined in the third industrial revolution strategy.

Furthermore, Gramegna urged Luxembourg to monitor European level initiatives before implementing its own regulations for example, the European Commission’s package of 23 measures in favour of fintechs presented last March.