A European Parliament finance committee has proposed new measures that would prevent location-based discrimination against consumers in the economic bloc, including users of digital currencies.
The proposal, authored by the European Union Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection, targets so-called 'geo-blocking', or prejudice against consumers on the internet based on their location. According to the lawmakers, geo-blocking is seen of the last obstacles to obtaining a cohesive European digital common market, known as the Digital Single Market.
The draft document states:
“The Commission should assess whether to provide the legal framework that allows, subject to the freedom of contract principle, the protection of undertakings and consumers when the transaction is carried through alternative modes of payment, including virtual currencies, other blockchain type transactions and ewallets.”
This is not the first time the EU has sought to regulate digital currency. In July 2016, regulators adopted a proposal strengthening oversight into anti-money laundering programs for virtual currency exchanges and wallet providers.
According to the European parliament draft, geo-blocking has become an issue caused in part by businesses refusing to deal with customers from jurisdictions with high levels of cyber crime.