Joining the list of European countries welcoming the crypto market to its shores, France has expressed intentions to review crypto tax regulations next year in its plan to become the world’s leading blockchain hub.
The Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, in a recent interview with BFM Crypto, stated that France does not intend to replicate existing norms for stocks but incorporate an advanced regulatory framework that will provide the right balance between protection and innovation.
“We plan to make the European Union the world’s leading economic area in structuring and to organize the crypto-asset market, and we want France to be the European hub of the crypto-asset community within it,” he explained.
This comes after the EU’s recent approval of its landmark Markets in Crypto Assets law (MiCA), which was first proposed in June this year. The regulation bill addresses the issue of money laundering, consumer protection, the accountability of crypto industries and their environmental impact, and stablecoins, among other points.
Once in effect, crypto companies will only be allowed to operate if they meet investor protection and other guidelines.
While the law brings significant landmark changes, it has many benefits. Taking a firm stance on anti-laundering crypto activities is one. This means the European regulations will allow the market to expand for the crypto industry since it takes a clear stand on digital assets rather than banning crypto in general.
There is also enough time for crypto companies to adjust, as there is no specific timeline for MiCA’s implementation, but the EU expects it to go into effect within the next four years.
While explaining the roadmap, the Minister mentioned two obstacles that could hinder crypto adoption in the country.
He talked about the fear of innovation, decentralization, and competition that has kept many countries from legalizing crypto adoptions and forced others to place bans. The Minister told BFM crypto that the fear would only suffocate the crypto ecosystem and its potential for everyone involved.
However, Le Maine did not leave out his concern about crypto’s energy consumption and its impact on the ecosystem. He commended Ethereum’s transition to proof-of-stake as the right move to reduce carbon footprint.
As part of its plan to become the blockchain hub for crypto, major players have been studying the environmental impact of crypto-assets in France and how the sector can reduce its emissions and contribute to the ecological transition.
It is safe to say that the French government will highly consider blockchains with eco-friendly energy activities as it begins its review of crypto tax regulations next year.
“Crypto Will Not Replace The Euro-” Bruno Le Maire
Nevertheless, Le Maire said the plan is not to make significant cryptocurrencies take over their currency or become a medium through which citizens pay taxes, as seen in some other places. He explained this as one of the “temptations” that would be fatal to the country moving forward.
“…a world without a central bank, without a central authority, without borders and ultimately without money. It would endanger our sovereignty but also – and above all, the most fragile thing among us,” he told the interviewer. “Our currency is the euro, and having just one currency to pay taxes is a condition of our unity.”
He placed faith in France and said they would move ahead with openness, responsibility, rigor, and realism. Transparency in extensive research and report, responsibility by making crypto industry players comply with existing European regulations before MiCA is fully implemented.
In recent months, several crypto companies like Crypto.com and Binance have obtained registration as PSAN and with the AMF- legislations that identify with some of MiCA’s aims. Other international players could follow, Maire explained, if they wish to make France their crypto base camp in Europe.
NFTs and DeFi
While MiCA regulations- including updates and changes- do not make mention of NFTs and DeFi because the sectors are not considered mature enough to be regulated, France intends to become particularly active in both.
“In France, we will be active in positioning ourselves as pioneers in these two new universes…we cannot miss new trends that could tomorrow reveal a transforming power for the financial industry,” Le Maire explained. “There will be great successes, as well as failures. This is what characterizes innovation.”