The Hague, on April 2nd, Christiaan Van Steenbergen, the CEO of NEXT.exchange attended a discussion focused on moving Netherlands to the top for Blockchain-related companies to settle. Christiaan was personally invited along with a few other organizations active in the Blockchain and cryptocurrency space to visit the Dutch Parliament.
The discussion revolved primarily around the emerging Blockchain sector, government stance on cryptocurrencies, wash trading in the market, and other general topics relevant to the industry such as why banks typically are not in favor of working together with Blockchain companies as well as educating the minister on how the cryptocurrency markets function.
- Dutch authorities are working on policies to position themselves to become a formidable country in terms of Blockchain adoption, wherein startups involved in the space can establish and grow their businesses without overbearing impediments.
- It is clear that a significant amount of Blockchain startups have been moving to countries such as Switzerland, Estonia, Malta, and Lichtenstein due to more favorable regulatory conditions and ease of working with banks. These movements are not going unnoticed by Dutch authorities, who understand that there is a clear need to evolve in order to accommodate the growing Blockchain sector.
- The conversation touched wash trading. The majority of our community should be aware that wash trading is a rather serious issue in the cryptocurrency market, with the majority of the top ten exchanges being involved in the practice. This behavior creates a misleading and unethical environment which negatively impacts the perception that new market entrants may have of the cryptocurrency and Blockchain sector. It has always been a focus of NEXT to avoid these kinds of practices, a vision which is now shared by the Dutch parliament. This is unlike the majority of existing exchange platforms that would like to continue operating in a “wild west” environment with inflated volumes and propagating assets of questionable authenticity. We would like to put our efforts towards steering the market into a mature and clean level. It was brought up during the meeting that the NEXT.chain can facilitate the tokenization of fiat currencies and identify all payment flows on the Blockchain in order to aid the creation of a more legitimate market.
It’s worth noting that wash trading is not why banks are largely refusing to work with cryptocurrencies. Banks want to know the origin of where money is coming from to be in line with the European ‘Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID)’ guidelines. With the regulation of the market and with current technology it is possible to trace the origin of money. This is precisely what NEXT.exchange would like to see and do — applying good regulations, under which cryptocurrency exchanges can operate while eliminating a lot of uncertainty for banks.
- The above points regarding wash trading and the NEXT.chain led to the scheduling of future appointments between NEXT.exchange and the Dutch Parliament, the Netherlands Authority of Financial Markets, the Dutch Bank, and the European Commission in Brussels.
- There was a lot of discussion in regards to how the business operations of Blockchain startup companies can be facilitated within the Netherlands. A major pain point revolved around increasing pressure from the AFM in terms of utility tokens being labeled as security tokens, which chokes opportunities for legitimate entrepreneurs and teams to fund their business operations. It is clear that the market is capable of growing to colossal proportions and the innovative technologies provided by startups are capable of improving many aspects of day to day life and should not be shrugged off nor have their potential choked out of fear for the future.
It is obvious to us that Dutch authorities understand that adoption and fostering of a digital economy can yield significant value for private and public businesses of varying sizes, government operations, citizens, and entrepreneurs.
NEXT.exchange is ready and willing to work with authorities on creating a more mature and clean Blockchain and cryptocurrency environment.
Prepared to provide input and utilize Blockchain technology to support a further structuring of applicable laws and promote legitimate business practices within the space, the NEXT Ecosystem will receive assistance in terms of expansion from Dutch regulators. This will require a significant amount of work which will be undertaken in the following months.
A working group will be created with the focus of aiding the Dutch Government and EU in further understanding Blockchain technology. The working group will include leading blockchain companies, where there will be space for promising blockchain startups. More details regarding this working group will be shared as they emerge.
The NEXT.exchange CEO attended a Government and Blockchain startup meeting in the Netherlands to aid the movement of making cryptocurrencies legitimate and pushing the Netherlands towards becoming the go-to nation for Blockchain companies.
NEXT.exchange is a hybrid exchange platform based out of the Netherlands that aims to enhance the mass adoption and appeal of cryptocurrencies globally for both individuals and businesses.
So, what’s next?