EPMA supported the organisation of the MAPPING Bitcoin conference in Hannover, January 19, 2017.
The emerging importance of virtual currencies challenges the law. Protection of means of payment is traditionally aligned with money administered by state authorities, therefore with traditional currencies and their regulation. These regulations are increasingly challenged by new currencies such as Bitcoin that are developed and administered by non-state players.
It is therefore to be discussed whether state protection is or should be limited to traditional currencies or should be widened to cover virtual currencies. Should, for example, traditional forms of property protection also apply to virtual money? Should money laundering prevention rules apply? But also traditional instruments of criminal law could need adaptation: How do instruments of criminal investigation and sanctions such as monetary fines need to be modernized? These and similar questions were discussed by an interdisciplinary group of speakers and panelists.
Possibilities and threats of virtual currencies were debated from a perspective of international public law as well as from practical views such as INTERPOL and national police authorities. Presentations were also focused on the innovative potential of virtual currencies and the impact on the economy.