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France Proposes to Create a Regulatory Frame That Would Convert the Country Into a Financial Center for ICOs

France is becoming more and more involved in the national economic development based on the blockchain technology and the cryptocurrencies. This is confirmed by the recent statement made by Bruno Le Maire, the Minister of Economy and Finance, who provided details about the financing plans created by the French government and focused on the initial coin offerings (ICOs).

Le Maire gave an exclusive interview to Numerama, a local newspaper from France, in which he talked about fundamental role the blockchain platforms and cryptocurrencies would play in the development of France and its finances. The minister also highlighted the possibility of creating new regulatory frames to recognize the ICOs as financial assets.

In this sense, Le Maire pointed out that France was leader in FinTech innovations on the European continent, since in back in 2014 France allowed the execution of crowdfunding activities in various places around the country and became one of the leaders when it comes to green finance in the region.

Likewise, The development plan contemplates offering new opportunities for the initial coin offerings, allowing the French companies to raise funds through the cryptocurrencies. Le Maire thinks this method of financing allows greater commercialization and efficiency in a network without intermediaries: “A revolution is underway, of which bitcoin was only the precursor. The blockchain will offer new opportunities to our start-ups, for example with the Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) that will allow them to raise funds through tokens, cryptoactives or not. It promises to create a network of trust without intermediary, to offer an increased traceability of transactions and, overall, to make the economy more efficient.”

Le Maire thinks the blockchain technology has a high potential to transform various French industries, focusing on the banking sector, the insurance industry and the financial markets. The minister also said that different economic players, such as the banks, clients and investors should be active when it comes to the adoption of the blockchain technology, the cryptocurrencies and ICOs.

However, Le Maire admitted that the adoption of the cryptocurrencies brings along certain financial risks, among which he pointed out the loss of value of the cryptocurrencies and the high number of attacks on the cryptocurrency ecosystem. The Ministry of Economy and Finance of France said the following about its stance related to the cryptocurrencies and ICOs: “Our goal is to provide legal certainty for those who seek it, without hindering those who want to follow their own path. We have a rather liberal approach. We work for a flexible, non-dissuasive framework. At the same time, we are not naive either; we know that these products can be risky.”

The minister confirmed he appointed Jean Pierre Landau from the General Inspection of Finances to lead a mission focused on the cryptocurrencies. The goal is to create an effective legal frame that would attract both national and international innovations, as well as identify the commercial risks of the FinTech solutions.

Le Maire also said the Council of Ministers would present the Action Plan for the Growth and Transformation of Enterprises (PACTE), a document which will allow the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) to issue licenses to the companies operating with cryptocurrencies that fulfill the legal requirements to ensure a good commercial functioning.

Le Maire said: “France has all the interest to become the first big financial center to propose an ad hoc legal frame that would allow the companies organizing an ICO to demonstrate their seriousness to potential investors.”

The French authorities will create a whitelist with all the licensed companies. This goal of this project is to boost the investments in the blockchain ecosystem.

The minister Le Maire says the blockchain technology could be the most daring step of the 21st century in France, guaranteeing better security, better technological efficiency and less legal loopholes. He also added the details will be discussed during the G20 summit in Buenos Aires.


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