European Commission Opposes Crypto Fraud Compensation Fund: Victims Say Commission Cozying up to the Industry
The European Commission (EC) is opposing the creation of the crypto crime victim superfund to be financed with $0.0001 per dollar on all cryptocurrency transactions occurring within the EU. The Commission says that it does not have the competence to set up and administer such a fund. It also argues that most crypto crimes occur outside the EU jurisdiction.
EC Says It Lacks the Needed Competencies
The EC made the remarks in response to a petition lodged with the European Union Parliament (EUP) by a consortium of crypto fraud victims. In their petition, the victims insist that the EC, which is one of the largest bureaucracies, is ideally placed to administer the proposed fund.
In its response to the EUP, the Commission, which has previously turned down the petition, says victims must instead “continue to pursue their respective cases through national law enforcement agencies.” According to the EC, victims can “seek compensation through existing channels or with the legal persons responsible for their loss.”
The Commission also clarifies that “EU rules on compensation may be applicable in cases of intentional violent crime.”
Victims Say EC too Cozy With the Industry
Meanwhile, the victims have assailed the EC’s tepid response and accused the Commission of taking an “anti-consumerism” stance. In a statement, the victims’ lawyer Jonathan Levy says:
The EU Commission pleads a lack of competence to assist victims of crypto crime even while promulgating a union-wide regulatory scheme for crypto assets. The Commission administers billions of Euros in grants and credits every year and has one of the most expansive and well-trained bureaucracies in the world but cannot administer a simple victim fund which is self-replenishing through a virtually unnoticeable .0001 cent per Euro transaction fee.
The lawyer reveals that the Commission has invested over $110 million in blockchain innovation awards and investments. However, pointing out that the EC’s claims that it lacks the ability to administer the superfund ring hollow, Levy says the Commission “must have some competency in overseeing crypto assets unless it simply distributes the Union’s funds with no hope of oversight.”
With the EUP estimating that at least $5 to $5.5 billion in crypto-asset fraud occurs annually in the EU, the lawyer suggests that by failing to take action, the EC will be seen as abetting crypto criminality. Levy, whose clients have suffered losses exceeding $44 million, adds:
“The EU Commission itself remains a host to crypto criminality in a major way with the European Commission delegated ccTLD .EU being a continuing host to the One Coin/One Life pyramid scam which has defrauded victims (including my clients) of well over $4.4 billion.”
The Onecoin crypto pyramid scheme, which recently had its scam warning alert dropped by the Financial Conduct Authority, remains operational despite the arrests and disappearance of some of the masterminds.
Expert Says Superfund Feasible
Meanwhile, in an expert opinion lodged with the EU Parliament Petitions Committee on October 20, technical expert Michael K McKibben, says he found “that the distributed ledger nodes already charge a node transaction or relay fee on much of the $110 billion daily crypto asset trading volume.”
The technical expert agrees with the petitioners that the addition of an “unnoticeable .0001 cent per $ insurance fund fee would provide for a victim superfund.” The expert concludes that since crypto assets are currently uninsurable, therefore “the proposed EU superfund would provide much-needed relief for victims of Ponzi schemes, hacks, fraudulent ICOs and extortion that utilize or involve crypto assets.”
McKibben, an American software engineer, also gives his opinion on why he thinks the superfund is viable:
Many nodes are actually slave units with no independent discretion thereby making the addition of an EU insurance fund fee to a distributed ledger system relatively simple to implement.
After failing to get redress via national courts, victims of crypto fraud are now pushing for EU authorities to help set up the self-replenishing superfund. However, in the wake of the Commission’s response, the EUP will continue to seek input before deciding the next step. Meanwhile, Levy says other stakeholders can still come forward and give their opinions to help bolster the petition.
What do you of the EC’s latest response to the petitioners? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.
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