Bitcoin Enters the Conversation within the German Parliament

With the kickoff event ‘Bitcoin im Bundestag,’ Bitcoin has entered the political discourse in Germany. Roman Reher of Blocktrainer, the largest German-speaking Bitcoin YouTube channel, and Kristian Kläger, CEO and founder of GmbH, delivered two formidable introductory presentations in the German Parliament. Since German politicians still mainly associate Bitcoin with criminal activities, money laundering, and climate damage, the objective was to nurture a better understanding of the unique opportunities Bitcoin has to offer.

Privacy was paramount to kickstarting the event. Given that Bitcoin remains a complicated subject in German politics, ensuring full privacy for attending MPs and their staff was crucial to spare them potential reprimands from their party leaders. The event was well-attended, also by visitors from outside. Since MPs preferred to take a backseat on the main floor, ordinary visitors were invited to fill the front seats. Overall, the event was a big success, and more Bitcoin events in the Bundestag are in the pipeline. While cameras were not permitted during the main event, a few exclusive moments later allowed for capturing select opinions on camera.

Joana Cotar is the founder of the initiative ‘Bitcoin im Bundestag.’ As a party-independent MP, she has the privilege of putting Bitcoin on the agenda, for example, during debates about the introduction of the digital Euro. As a party member, this would not have been possible.

Still, her former affiliation with the right-wing AfD poses challenges too. In German politics, guilt by association is a strong mechanism, and no party wants to collaborate with the AfD. It creates a political vacuum and has led to discussions within the Berlin Bitcoin community. According to her it is good to remind oneself that Bitcoin is apolitical, uncensorable, and free money, and even your worst enemy can use it.

Also in the German parliament, Bitcoin is a bottom up movement, and according to Joana Cotar, the staff of the MPs play a crucial role in getting the topic on the agenda. They work long hours with the MPs, and are also often consciously encouraged by Members of the German Parliament to explore new topics.

In the following interview, Joana Cotar provides unprecedented insights into the workings of German politics. She discusses the free access banking lobbyists have to the German parliament, their strong influence on MPs, and articulates concrete requests such as making Bitcoin legal tender, allowing for self-custody, promoting sustainable Bitcoin mining, and urging opposition to the introduction of the digital Euro.

This is a guest post by Daniel van Heel. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.