France’s Finance Committee: Ban anonymous cryptocurrencies

In a report published yesterday from the Finance Committee of France suggests that privacy cryptocurrencies, like Monero, Zcash, Pivx, and more. The president of the committee Éric Woerth suggests:

“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] whose purpose is to bypass any possibility of identifying the holders. To date, regulation has not gone that far.

Éric Woerth president of France’s Finance Committee – Forbes
Privacy coins - cryptocurrencies

Will France really ban privacy coins?

These suggestions still have a long way to go before they can become a reality. And they will face a lot of resistance. But it is clear that with the maturity of cryptocurrencies that the questions around money laundering and other criminal activities connected to cryptocurrencies, and especially privacy coins needs to be answered. We have earlier reported on the barriers that many crypto companies face while trying to open business banking accounts across Europe and globally (read our article ‘The major banks are refusing crypto companies’).

The general belief in the cryptocurrency space is that we need regulations. By large the crypto trading markets are unregulated, ICO frameworks exist in some countries, and there are still hacks and exchange scandals happening almost weekly still. But if this means that France will take such drastic measures remains to be seen.

France has previously encouraged the development of cryptocurrencies

These reports that came out from the finance committee are still just early suggestions, and there is a lot that needs to happen for it get serious. We also have to consider that in the past France has shown some encouragement to cryptocurrencies. Last year for example France approved a new legal ICO framework, meant to help investors but also to “attract investors from all over the world.” (Cointelegraph article). This has been the works of Bruno Le Maire, France’s finance minister. Who earlier in 2018 started a working group tasked to encourage the growth of cryptocurrencies and lay down the framework for helpful regulations (SciencesPo).

France’s President Emmanuel Macron

France’s President Emmanuel Macron has in the past giving his personal encouragement to emerging technologies, such as the blockchain.

“I want France to be a start-up nation. A nation that thinks and moves like a start-up. We must change our “small-is-beautiful mindset. If an entrepreneur is successful, we are envious, we criticize, and impose taxes on him. But successful entrepreneurs help others succeed.”

France’s President Emmanuel Macron

So it remains to be seen what happens with these early suggestions by the finance committee, and how much resistance they’ll face across France’s government, startups and citizens alike.

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