Banning Bitcoin: this is the proposal of Maurizio Gasparri, an Italian senator. He said this in a tweet he posted after a TV report aired on Saturday night on the popular TV show Striscia la Notizia.
Striscia la Notizia is a satirical news programme. Last Saturday a report was aired with the title: Is Bitcoin a good investment? The speaker did not give an answer but explained some of the factors that move the price of Bitcoin, urging people to beware of other cryptocurrencies that only work as network marketing.
However, for Gasparri there is no doubt: Bitcoin is dangerous and should be banned:
“Bitcoin is absurd stuff, those who use it condemn themselves. It must be banned. I will propose it in the Senate”.
This was his tweet, hinting that he might introduce a bill to that effect.
His opinion is not new, he had already expressed it another time. In December 2018 he wrote:
“Bitcoin’s value collapses, what a surprise… Who trusted ‘this stuff’ anyway? A good lesson for the speculators who sought profits and the fools who took the bait…”
Can Gasparri succeed in getting bitcoin banned?
Maurizio Gasparri is one of the most prominent politicians on the Italian scene. A former communications minister in Berlusconi’s government of the early 2000s, he is currently group leader of the Forza Italia party in the Senate. What he can do is to present a bill, deposit it in the Senate and wait for it to run its course.
However, being an opposition member, he will have to find the numbers in the majority to get his proposal passed. But the relative majority of the Italian parliament is held by the 5 Star Movement, which instead seems to always be very mindful of the blockchain and cryptocurrency theme.
Moreover, Italy is currently experiencing a political crisis that could lead to an early end to the legislature with the dissolution of parliament and new elections.
In short, Gasparri’s idea is unlikely to materialize into a real ban at this point in history.
However, there is nothing to exclude that in a future legislature led by the centre-right (of which Forza Italia is a part) this idea could be revived and presented. At that point, it would be easier for Gasparri to find the numbers to get it approved. At the moment, however, this is just political fantasy.