HOME INSIGHTS COMMENT HEIKO MAAS CALLS FOR NEW PAYMENT CHANNELS – HOW ABOUT BITCOIN?
Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SDP) made a comment on the transatlantic partnership with the USA in a guest article in the Handelsblatt on Tuesday 21 August. Among other things, he called for Europe to gain more financial independence from the US – also through new payment channels. Even if he does not explicitly intend this, Maas’ statements can also be read as a plea for the Bitcoin as the global reserve currency.
Europe and the USA: Partners at Bitcoin revolution level
The goal should be a “balanced partnership” in which Europeans and Americans meet at Bitcoin revolution level. Europe must become a pillar of the international order. This also implies a certain degree of independence for Europe – both militarily and financially. Maas recommends, for example, that the European Union conduct its own Bitcoin revolution together and in unison – independently of the USA.
Even more decisive, however, is the second point addressed by Maas: financial independence from the USA. According to Maas, it is “indispensable” that Europeans set up independent payment channels, set up a European Monetary Fund and think about an independent Swift system. If you read between the lines, then Maas is calling for nothing other than the decentralisation of the global financial system – sounds familiar.
Since the election of American President Donald Trump at the latest, the transatlantic relationship seems to be slipping from one low to the next. So his mantra “America first” is to be seen as a departure from the often invoked Western community of values – which in reality was often more of a Western community of interests. Trump describes NATO either as obsolete or as urging the European member states to increase their military budget. At the same time, he also starts a trade war with European partners, which is conducted with customs duties and damages both economies.
From the point of view of the German government, this is reason enough to consider possible alternatives to the existing economic and security architecture of the world. Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas does this in a guest article published in the Handelsblatt on Tuesday. There he writes that the drifting apart of Europe and the USA has been going on for years, independent of Trump’s presidency. He therefore calls for Trump not just to sit out and then return to normality, but to “re-measure” the partnership.
Bitcoin loophole: Breaking the Dollar’s Power
Since the end of the Second World War, the US dollar has been the global reserve currency and at the same time the most important source of US global power. This Bitcoin loophole power is sharpened by Maas to a concrete event: the withdrawal of the USA from the nuclear agreement with Iran and the associated Bitcoin loophole economic sanctions. Although the agreement was unilaterally dissolved over the heads of the Europeans, this also puts European and German companies under pressure not to do business with Iran.
Interestingly, the role of the US dollar in the fight against Iran is a point made by US MP Brad Sherman in Congress’s Finance Committee over a month ago – as an argument against Bitcoin. According to Sherman, Bitcoin should be banned because it threatens the role of the US dollar as a source of US strength in the world.