The European Commission presents a new impetus for Bitcoin and Blockchain startups.
The European Commission (EC) recently introduced the new “Start-up and Scale-up” initiative. Its aim is to increase Europe’s competitiveness for entrepreneurs and innovative new businesses by reducing regulatory barriers. According to the EBAN of the Pan-European Trade Association, Europe has more entrepreneurs per capita than the United States.
However, the problem is that European companies rarely grow to scale, according to EBAN. Unlike American startups like Apple, Amazon and Google, European startups often remain from one to three companies. Their innovative ideas rarely leave the local economies, usually confined to one country.
The Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Günther Oettinger, explained that many EU companies are still small. These fail after a few years or decide to move to other countries instead of tapping the potential offered by the European Union as a customer base of 500 million people.
“The European Commission is determined to change that and help new businesses deliver their full potential for innovation and job creation,” the EC said. Oettinger noted that the new companies account for almost the entire net job creation in the EU.
Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, responsible for the internal market, industry, entrepreneurship and SMEs, said:
“Starting and expanding a company across Europe has to be simpler: Europe must become the first place of choice for big business ideas to become successful companies, new jobs, innovation and competitiveness for Europe.”
Three regulatory changes are already under way. First, startups will have better access to finance. Secondly, the Commission will offer entrepreneurs a second chance. A legislative proposal about the insolvency law has already been introduced to enable companies in financial difficulties to restructure early to avoid bankruptcy and avoid layoffs. Finally, taxation will be simplified.
This initiative will benefit the bitcoin and blockchain companies that start or expand at European level. “There are now more and more successful stories of enlargement in Europe,” Oettinger said, referring to Blockchain, based in Luxembourg, as an example.
Bitcoin startups however, may face a different challenge when operating in Europe as the Commission is committed to ending the anonymity associated with digital currencies. The EC has recently adopted a proposal by the European Parliament to bring digital coin operators and purse providers into the current EU anti-money laundering Directive.
“These proposals include a measure that would require platforms to perform due diligence when customers exchange virtual currency for real,” according to the European Parliament website. “This would end with the anonymity associated with such exchanges.”
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