France’s Finance Minister Plans ICO Regulations in Bid to Attract Crypto Startups
According to a recently published opinion piece, France’s finance minister Bruno Le Maire revealed that the country plans on creating a legal framework for initial coin offerings (ICOs) in a bid to become a leading ICO hub.
In the opinion piece, published on French website Numerama, Le Maire claims he asked former central bank official Jean-Pierre Landau to draft a proposal for a legislative framework on cryptocurrencies. In the article, he wrote:
“France has every interest in becoming the first major financial center to propose an ad hoc legislative framework for companies making an initial coin offering.”
Landau has the notorious nickname “Monsieur Bitcoin,” and was last month chosen to chair a
cryptocurrency task force in France. The taskforce, as covered by CCN, is responsible for “proposing guidelines on the evolution of regulations.”
Le Maire further revealed that an action plan to be presented to the country’s government “in a few weeks” will propose seeing French market regulator Autorité des marches financiers (AMF) have the option to authorize companies to raise funds through ICOs, as long as they respect specific criteria that’s set on protecting investors.
The minister touted that
blockchain technology will offer the country’s start-ups unprecedented opportunities, as they will be able to raise funds by issuing tokens. He said:
“A revolution is underway, of which bitcoin was only the precursor. The blockchain will offer new opportunities to our startups, for example with the Initial Coin Offerings (
ICO) that will allow them to raise funds through ‘tokens (…)This promises to create a network of confidence without intermediaries, offers increased traceability and will boost economic efficiency.”
According to him, France has a tradition of financial innovation, and its new goal is to “enter the world of finance of the 21st century by guaranteeing all players the necessary security for their development.” In his op-ed his piece, Le Maire wrote that “[France] should not miss out on the blockchain revolution.”
The country, along with Germany, notably called for cryptocurrencies to be discussed at G20. During the summit, in Buenos Aires, Argentina Le Maire highlighted the importance of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. The G20 communique revealed a crackdown on cryptocurrencies may not occur, although regulation proposals are set to come by July.