While one side of the world is watching governments try to clamp down on innovation and cryptocurrencies, another side is watching governments understand the technology behind cryptocurrencies and taking it in their stride.
According to a news report by Reuters, cryptocurrency companies in France will voluntarily abide by a regulatory framework that requires them to pay tax, provide consumer protection, and meet capital requirements. The French authorities will implement regulations later this month.
The companies that agree to abide by the regulations will receive approval from the country’s Financial Markets Authority (AMF) and will be effectively whitelisted. The executive director for legal affairs at France’s Financial Markets Authority, Anne Marechal told Reuters, “We are in talks with three or four candidates for initial coin offerings (ICOs).” Apart from that, the watchdog said that it was also talking to cryptocurrency exchanges, custodians and fund managers.
This news comes as a bit of a turnaround, as earlier this year we had reported that the country was planning to ban privacy-focused cryptocurrency. Head of the finance committee of France’s National Assembly, Eric Woerth was considering the introduction of a ban on digital currency that provides greater anonymity to users.
At the time, Woerth had said, “It would also have been appropriate to propose a ban on the dissemination and trade in [cryptocurrencies built] to ensure complete anonymity by preventing any identification procedure by design. […] This is the case for a certain number of [cryptocurrencies] (Monero, PIVX, DeepOnion, Zcash…) whose purpose is to bypass any possibility of identifying the holders. To date, regulation has not gone that far.”
According to Woerth, problems associated with such cryptocurrencies include fraud, tax evasion, money laundering and energy consumption.
However, on a slightly cheerful note he had said, “The distinction between the different uses of [cryptocurrencies] must continue, to establish a finer and more precise regulation protector of the general interest, as well as the private interest of the entrepreneurs of this domain.”
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