UD MP Sarah Wescot-Williams.
PHILIPSBURG--United Democrats (UD) Member of Parliament (MP) Sarah Wescot-Williams on Monday called on Central Bank for Curaçao and St. Maarten (CBCS) to make its position on cryptocurrencies clear.
Wescot-Williams’s statements come on the heels of statements by United People’s (UP) party MP Rolando Brison, who said just over a week ago that he is exploring legislation to make Bitcoin Cash an official legal tender in St. Maarten, and also fully exempt Bitcoin cash and Non-Fungible Token (NFT) transactions from capital gains tax. Wescot-Williams called a video that was recently circulating promoting bitcoin in which Brison appeared, a “reckless approach to such a multi-facetted and potentially detrimental topic.”
“It would behove CBCS, that in the recent past cautioned against the potential pitfalls of cryptocurrencies, to inform the public of the monetary union (Curaçao and St. Maarten) on its present stance on this highly technical matter,” Wescot-Williams said in a statement on Monday evening.
“Moreover, CBCS should be at the forefront of educating and informing the population of the union on the matter of financial digitalisation and prudence, as we all are being bombarded with proposals and offers of the “magic” of digitalised systems and crypto assets.”
She said CBCS not too long ago announced its Instant Payment System rollout, indicating that this is in the sphere of digital banking and is a far cry from cryptocurrency development, offering or cryptocurrency services. “Throughout Europe and the Caribbean, central banks are rolling out bank-backed digital currencies as they continue to responsibly ride the financial digital wave. Case in point, is the DCash programme of Eastern Caribbean Central Bank,” the MP said.
She alluded to statements made by CBCS in May 2018, when it said: “In the meantime the Bank is drafting a Payment System Act which once approved by the respective parliaments will provide the legal basis for authorisations and regulations of the above-mentioned institutions [the institutions listed were: Electronic Money Institution, a Payment Institution or a Cryptocurrency exchange/-ATM].
She questioned the status of this Payment System Act.
“Suddenly, by the promotional video of Member of Parliament Rolando Brison, marketing Bitcoin Cash, our Central Bank has been pulled in and so has the Ministry of Finance. Brison is calling out the Minister of Finance to make good on his promise “that crypto and block chain adoption was a priority area to research,” said the UD MP.
“You would think CBCS would be consulted on the MP’s “exploration to make bitcoin cash legal tender in the country.” If CBCS was consulted, it surely was not mentioned in the promotional article and video. What one could not miss from the promotional video, however, is that it regards the Parliament of St. Maarten.” Question is, why? It therefore behoves me once again to state that MP Brison does not represent the Parliament of St. Maarten, and surely not with this type of promotional gimmick. This is at most an UP and or the governing coalition’s reckless approach to such a multi-facetted and potentially detrimental topic,” Wescot-Williams said, in making her position abundantly clear.
“Digitalization? Most definitely and also in the financial, banking and investment sectors, but when it comes to crypto-assets, however, any self-respecting country would tread with caution and exercise extreme diligence. With the stroke of a pen by an individual Member of Parliament, St. Maarten has made international headlines in the digital financial and investment world. We are being used in the race for ‘nation state adoption’ of a cryptocurrency between competing cryptocurrency developers, Bitcoin and Bitcoin cash, a decision on behalf of our ‘nation state’ by one Member of Parliament,” she indicated.