French Finance Minister Recommends EU Adopt France’s Model of Crypto Regulation

On Monday, April 15, French Minister Bruno Le Maire said that France will push for the European Union to regulate cryptocurrencies in line with the regulatory framework on crypto recently brought in, in France.

The regulations, which were brought in last week, allow cryptocurrency organizations to run their own operations and have official recognition by the French government but also allow the profit from digital assets to be taxed.

On Monday, France’s Financial Markets Authority (AMF) published the details of the new framework. The bill was first launched on 23 October 2017 and contains guidelines for cryptocurrency conduct within the country. Any providers of digital assets will have the option of becoming licensed with the AMF and being under the authority’s supervision.

The AMF said:

“Whether or not they choose to obtain the optional license, service providers who wish to provide digital asset custody services to third parties or to purchase/sell digital assets in exchange for legal tender are subject to mandatory registration with the AMF.”

Providers must also apply for approval by the AMF by meeting certain requirements; for example, the provider must be registered in France and provide sufficient information about the digital tokens and the company.

Continuing, the AMF said:

“The raising of funds without AMF approval will continue to be legal in France. However, issuers who have not received the approval of the AMF will not be able to solicit the general public … The AMF will publish the list of ICOs that have received its approval.”

Presumably, the motivation behind this move by France is to gain tighter control over the digital asset space and the movement of digital assets in the country. As cryptocurrencies become more popular and widespread, this is something many governments are looking into as a way of ensuring assets are taxed in line with their traditional tax legislation which up until recently, crypto has managed to escape from.

At an event on blockchain technology in Paris, Le Maire said:

“I will propose to my European partners that we set up a single regulatory framework on crypto-assets inspired by the French experience,” he added, “Our model is the right one.”

The EU is already considering how to move forward with cryptocurrency regulation, although no legislation is expected until the end of 2019. It’s too soon to say how the EU will respond to adopting the French model of crypto regulation but it is likely something they will strongly consider.

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