Category Archives: Bruno Le Maire

Auto Added by WPeMatico

Dysfunctional States And State Crypto

Dysfunctional States And State Crypto (1)

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has said that cryptocurrency will never replace a government’s sovereign currency.

Le Maire’s comments were made in the light of growing concerns by regulators over Facebook’s intended launch of its own cryptocurrency in 2020. Mark Carney, Governor, Bank of England also said that the new digital currency will be under scrutiny to ensure it is not used for illegal purposes. Le Maire argued that financial sovereignty must come from government, commenting, “The aspect of sovereignty must stay in the hands of states and not private companies which respond to private interests.”

Looking at the three rogue states which have considered doing just that, he may well have a point. Venezuela remains the most prominent example of a misguided attempt by those in power to support the economy using a government-initiated cryptocurrency or state crypto. Russia and Iran have also dabbled in state crypto in attempts to overcome sanctions.

Both Venezuela’s Petro and Petro Gold, based on the South American country’s oil and gold reserves, have done little to stem the tide of hyperinflation which currently is running at a staggering 99,900% although down from 224,900% at the end of last year. Launched in February 2018, the Petro was supposed to be backed by the country’s oil and mineral reserves and was intended to supplement Venezuela’s plummeting bolívar fuerte currency (VEF), as a means of circumventing US sanctions and accessing international financing.

To illustrate the level of the country’s economic woes, Venezuela’s highest denomination, VEF 500, when initially issued in August 2018, was equal in value to USD 8.30. Today it is worth no more than seven cents. This week new 50,000 bolivar Soberano (VES) banknotes have been released (equal to USD 8.09 at time of writing) along with two other notes, in an attempt to stem the tide for at least the next few months.

The latest plan is to use the Petro, currently equal in value to VES 80,000, to prop up the currency. Venezuelan President Madura claims that linked to the Petro the new notes will hold their value, but among the population, such claims fall on deaf ears, with the average monthly income for most Venezuelan households now VES 40,000 (USD 6.55). To date, the Petro has been largely invisible.

It remains a disappointment to genuine cryptocurrency enthusiasts that rogue states use cryptocurrency as a go-to solution to tackle economic mismanagement or punitive sanctions. Both Russia and Iran are currently movers and shakers on the world stage for all the wrong reasons, both accused of government-sponsored acts of terrorism in the last 12 months. Both countries have strict laws prohibiting the use of cryptocurrencies but flirt with the technology at the state level.

Russia’s latest flirt with crypto is current research being undertaken by the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) to develop a gold backed cryptocurrency, an idea clearly finding its origins in Iran’s own proposed gold-backed cryptocurrency known as ‘PayMon’. Reports claim that four Iranian banks including Bank Melli, Parsian Bank, Bank Mellat and Bank Pasargad have joined hands with blockchain startup Kuknos for PayMon. Previously, in July 2018, reports came out claiming that Iran was looking to launch its own national cryptocurrency.

Iran sees cryptocurrencies as a mean to bypass new economic sanctions imposed on it by the US government. The new cryptocurrency is expected to back and tokenize Iran’s national fiat currency, the rial. Thereby, cross-border and domestic transactions will be facilitated.

Vladimir Gutenev, a member of the Russian State Duma, submitted plans for its own gold-backed cryptocurrency in August 2018; a plan which was subsequently shelved. Russia’s former Minister of Economics and Trade, Herman Gref, also spoke out last year in favor of cryptocurrencies and their transformational nature as a future threat to the financial sector’s status quo. It now appears Gutenev’s plan is back on the table. The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) is now looking at the proposal for a gold-backed stablecoin but makes it clear that it has no plans in the future to replace the rouble with an alternative state-run cryptocurrency.

To date, without any proven successes in state-run cryptocurrency, Le Maire’s suggestion that cryptocurrency will never replace government sovereign currencies seems to ring true, at least in the near future. The current example of Venezuela’s Petro adventure is not one to encourage finance ministers around the globe to anticipate any changes to the status quo, nor is the track record on the international stage of those that propose to do so. At least not yet, for now. It remains to be seen how well cryptocurrency fares in the hands of private companies who maintain that they are responding to private interests, and to that end, all eyes are on Facebook.


BitcoinNews is committed to unbiased news and upholding journalistic codes of ethics. For more information please read our Editorial Policy here.

Follow BitcoinNews on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews:

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Dysfunctional States And State Crypto appeared first on

France Will Push EU to Adopt New Crypto Regulatory Framework

France Will Push EU to Adopt New Crypto Regulatory Framework

France is keen for her European Union neighbors to adopt a similar framework for cryptocurrency to its own newly- formed financial sector legislation.

Its new laws have been structured to keep the Finance Ministry, exchanges, and traders satisfied that there is a little bit of harmony for all, and a relief for many traders who have been expecting a tightening of cryptocurrency guidelines this year.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire clearly wants to share the joy with the rest of Europe, although at this stage it seems unlikely that the UK would come on board with Brexit and European elections looming. France has jumped to head of the Euro queue in adopting a national regulatory framework and sees this as a solution for the other 26, or possibly 27. Le Maire commented:

“I will propose to my European partners that we set up a single regulatory framework on crypto-assets inspired by the French experience.”

Le Maire is clearly confident, adding that “our model is the right one”, although it remains to be seen how this suggestion will be greeted by other EU members.

The French government’s new cryptocurrency bill will now give the opportunity for startups and platforms that want to issue new cryptocurrencies or trade existing ones to apply for a certification giving companies official state recognition. This means that the rest of Europe will now be playing catchup. The certification will be granted by French market regulator and issuers, traders, custodians, and investors will have to pay taxes on their profits.

Transparency is seen as key by the French Finance Ministry and those applying for certification under the new rules will need to be thorough in furnishing business plans, AML, KYC, and be clear about exactly who is conducting and overseeing the business. Those not choosing to seek registration could be left in a vulnerable position.


Follow on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from

Want to advertise or get published on – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post France Will Push EU to Adopt New Crypto Regulatory Framework appeared first on

French Regulator Tightens Controls on Unauthorized Crypto Firms

Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), the body responsible for regulating financial markets in France has noted in its last update that four cryptocurrency websites have been blacklisted.

This follows the regulators blacklisting 20 new investment websites, mostly cryptocurrency-related ventures, back in September. At the time, AMF advised French citizens investing in these new projects that “no advertising materials should make you overlook the fact that high returns always involve high risk”.

Now, nine more websites have been listed as “proposing atypical investments without being authorized to do so,” on the AMF website on December 14th. The blacklisted websites contain four crypto websites which reportedly centre on unauthorized investment offerings.

According to the AMF, websites such as one of the blacklisted sites were accused of offering monthly returns to investors between 3% and 5% without the authorization to offer guarantees. The other cryptocurrency websites were,, and

French investors were warned that many new cryptocurrency projects are still awaiting AMF’s approval to offer services, and unfamiliar websites should be treated with caution by the public, particularly given the current wave of new crypto websites coming online.

The move by the AMF is part of an increased focus in ensuring that new ICO’s are fulfilling regulator’s legal registration and operating requirements. In September, the French Parliament passed the Autorité des marchés financiers framework drafted early in the year, designed to protect those investing in ICOs.

Earlier this year, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire described cryptocurrency as a “revolution”. Another prominent national, former French finance minister Christine Lagarde, now IMF head, described future international digital currency regulation as “inevitable”.

In September, France’s Minister for the Economy and Finance announced that the government had accepted an article of the Business Growth and Transformation bill (PACTE) dedicated to Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) which stipulates that prior to any ICO, a firm must apply for a license from the AMF providing detailed information on the offer and issuer.

Follow on Twitter: @BitcoinNewsCom

Telegram Alerts from

Want to advertise or get published on – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post French Regulator Tightens Controls on Unauthorized Crypto Firms appeared first on

Mais Oui! French Tabacs to Sell Bitcoin Next Year

The French Tabac (tobacco store) is a national institution but next year is changing quite dramatically as along with your pack of Gitanes, morning coffee and perhaps a small cognac, you can now pick up your Bitcoin.

The Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR), the institution charged with monitoring the transactions performed by banks and insurance companies in France, has given tobacconists the green light to sell Bitcoin over the counter from the beginning of 2019 through Point of Sale (POS) locations at participating tabacs throughout the country.

The initial launch of the groundbreaking concept will see between 3,000 and 4,000 tabacs selling Bitcoin in amounts of 50, 100, or 250 euros. The firm Bimedia, a company which provides terminals for the collection of items at tabacs, has combined with the KerplerK cryptocurrency platform to provided the POS terminal system.

Customers will be able to purchase their Bitcoin using the on-site POS devices and then use an issued ticket to redeem their digital currency amount on the KeplerK website. Phillipe Coy, President of the Confederation of Tobacco shops, sees the move as a way of bringing the French tabac into the 21st century, suggesting that adding Bitcoin sales “brings us closer to modern times of consumption, and use”.

The tabacs offer a unique public service to French communities, particularly in small villages where they often cover for the local bakery and other services. Bitcoin would simply be one more product available to customers who are unable to have access to larger centers.

La Fédération des Buralistes (the Confederation of Tobacco Shops) offers KerplerK the potential for 25,000 POS for Bitcoin. The company has claimed that it currently has 27,000 operators and POSs which would make it a world leader in the field.

The French aim is still geared towards establishing a more global regulatory network as digital currency is used globally, not simply in France. The country’s Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, has suggested that the G20 need to reach agreement on how Bitcoin could be regulated among member countries.

Locally, the focus lately in France has been adjusting its tax system to accommodate cryptocurrencies, resulting in dropping the tax rate to 19% but this figure has recently been amended. It appears the French government is still struggling to adapt to the addition of digital currency to the country’s financial structure.


Follow on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from

Want to advertise or get published on – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Mais Oui! French Tabacs to Sell Bitcoin Next Year appeared first on

French Crypto Taxes See Yet Another Drop Proposal

After stating in April 2018 that cryptocurrency taxes in France would be lowered, it appears that the government has settled on a figure.

Gains from the sale of cryptocurrencies were previously labeled as industrial and commercial profits under French tax law and therefore could have up to as much as 45% tax levied on them for larger users. With French social security contributions (CSG) currently standing at 17.2%, some wealthier crypto traders could have been paying a massive 62% in tax.

In April the Conseil-D’état, under new tax laws specifically aimed at Bitcoin had suggested setting the new crypto tax rate at 19%, which is the same rate applied to what the French call “movable property”, such as cars, jewelry, and patents. Bitcoin would fall into that same category.

However, the Finance Commission in France’s lower house of parliament revealed on Wednesday that its latest amendment to French taxation as it applies to cryptocurrency assets proposes a flat rate of 30%, equal to the current rate of French capital tax, from January of 2019.

The Bank of France proposed a ban earlier this year on investment companies to keep financial institutions from conducting business in the cryptocurrency market until the government could enact proper regulation. The Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau commented earlier this year that new laws were required to cover cryptocurrency exchanges, assuring investors who had previously been shocked when he commented:

“Bitcoin is in no way a currency or even a cryptocurrency. It is a speculative asset. Its value and extreme volatility have no economic basis, and they are nobody’s responsibility.”

The latest details coming from France’s lower house are sure to encourage investors, although original suggestions of a new rate of 19% proposed by the Conseil-D’état earlier in the year would have been far more warmly received by the industry.

The French aim is still geared towards establishing a more global regulatory network as digital currency is used globally, not simply in France. The country’s Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, has suggested that the G20 need to reach agreement on how Bitcoin could be regulated amongst the member countries.

Follow on Twitter: @BitcoinNewsCom

Telegram Alerts from

Want to advertise or get published on – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post French Crypto Taxes See Yet Another Drop Proposal appeared first on

New French ICO Framework Attracts Innovation, Boosts Macron’s Business Plan

France is continuing to follow President Macron’s plan raise its business profile in the world by establishing a legal framework for ICOs.

A recent Autorité des Marchés Financier (AMF) annual report indicated that ICOs are most definitely on the agenda for further regulatory framework as Robert Ophèle, President of the AMF, indicated that the government body would:

“…continue to reflect on changes in the regulatory framework in the face of new offers, in particular, the Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), and to promote at European level the French regulator’s approach to innovation.”

The government has now taken one step further with a new announcement by finance minister Bruno Le Maire that the corresponding legislation, Article 26, had now been “adopted in (parliamentary) committee”, to improve business growth in the country, adding, “This legal framework will attract innovators from around the world of blockchain…”

✅Article 26 adopté en commission #PACTE !

➡Un cadre juridique des #ICO est créé. L’@AMF_actu pourra délivrer un visa aux acteurs respectant des critères de protection des épargnants
➡Ce cadre juridique va attirer les innovateurs du monde entier #blockchain #DirectAN

— Bruno Le Maire (@BrunoLeMaire) September 12, 2018

The legislation will allow the AMF to now approve businesses wanting to launch ICOs in France, given certain criteria are met by companies that “those projects provide specific guarantees for investors”.

Law firm Kramer Levin sees the new legislation providing a clear a definition of tokens for would-be French investors, suggesting that a token is:

“An intangible property representing, in numerical form, one or more rights that can be issued, registered, conserved or transferred using a shared electronic registration mechanism that facilitates the identification, directly or indirectly, of the owner of said property.”

After the lackluster and largely ineffective government led by previous president Francois Holland, Macron’s new regime has taken businesses to task with real vigor in an attempt to refresh outmoded business practices and regulations and inspire overseas faith in a new forward-looking approach, largely driven by government.

President Macron is seen by those that know him well and experts in the sector as a pro-tech leader, believing that he will further the interests of startups in the crypto industry as part of his business rejuvenation plan for the nation.


Follow on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from

Want to advertise or get published on – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post New French ICO Framework Attracts Innovation, Boosts Macron’s Business Plan appeared first on

Sharp Spike in French Blockchain Growth Demonstrates Macron Vision

There has been a sharp spike in startups using blockchain technology innovations in France, and much of this is down to the new French president.

France struggled through the period under President Francois Hollande’s tenure with his popularity rating hitting as low as 4%. President Macron appears to be breathing much needed new energy into the French economy as he takes on the old protectionist guard hanging on to out-moded work practices and attacks the 36-hr working week, although his stance has ruffled feathers in the processes.

Even back in 2016, at the height of Hollande’s dismal reign as President, Macron, then Minister of the Economy, began to make positive sounds towards oncoming legislation for blockchain start-ups. He said then:

“We are going to take advantage of the Financial Regulation Ordinance, which is responsible for updating cash certificates and creating mini-cash, to experiment on the blockchain.”

A significant factor in his approach to the economy has been the way in which the new French government has addressed new technologies such as blockchain and cryptocurrencies. The new approach is already factoring in these technologies as an inevitable factor of French life.

Not only this but under Macron, France want to become a fintech trendsetter. The French government says that is currently preparing to legislate for ICOs, and recently, as reported by Bitcoin News, heavily reduced cryptocurrency tax rates. Also this month, Europe’s leading blockchain startup accelerator, Chain Accelerator launched in Paris.

Anji Ismail, CEO of Varanida, thinks this change of direction means that the French are beginning to subscribe to the American ideal of risk-taking rather than worrying about failing in business. If this is true, then it comes very much from the top with Macron exuding a confidence seldom seen at the heart of the French government in recent times. The risk of failure has caused many a French entrepreneur to balk at the final hurdle, Ismail suggests, an emotion little felt by their American counterparts when it comes down to business. To fail in American business is to learn.

The French government, according to Ismaol, given the right set of circumstances would see unlisted securities on the Paris Bourse. The Cabinet has already passed legislation that allows the transfer of ownership of certain financial securities using blockchain storage as a DLT.

France’s forward-thinking position was made clear recently when the French Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire gave blockchain his official green light. He said:

“The use of this technology will allow fintech and other financial players to offer new solutions for securities trading – faster, cheaper, more transparent and more secure solutions.”

Perhaps less fear and more energy is the new French approach to business. Time will tell.


Follow on Twitter at

Telegram Alerts from at

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Sharp Spike in French Blockchain Growth Demonstrates Macron Vision appeared first on

French Finance Minster’s Gallic Crypto Passion

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire in a meeting with French entrepreneurs has declared that he plans to support the crypto space, according to

The breakfast meeting included Blockchain Partner’s co-founder and president of Chaintech, Alex Stachtchenko, to whom Le Maire committed his “total and determined support” for the cryptocurrency industry. Stachtchenko reported the finance minister’s opening comments to the meeting:

“I was a neophyte a year ago, but now I’m passionate. It took me a year. Let us show a lot of pedagogy with our fellow citizens to make France the first place of blockchain & crypto-active innovation in Europe.”

This being the case, this positioning regarding the industry marks a significant change in government thinking, which to date has been wary of cryptocurrency, although Le Maire himself has made comments recently which suggest a proactive stance in the space.

Prior to the Buenos Aires G20 summit earlier this year, the minister suggested that France should become “actors” rather than “spectators” although he clarified that the government should still be wary of speculation, security issues and criminal activities such as money laundering. In March this year, he suggested that blockchain technology would offer startups the option to “…create a network of trust without intermediaries… and offer increased traceability of transactions”, generating a climate for a more efficient French economy.

At the recent meeting, Le Maire and Stachtchenko discussed how to address current issues regarding banks, which they felt damaged competitiveness, due to denying accounts to blockchain companies. The minister agreed to take take the issue up with the French Central Bank, suggesting it was far better to do business with stable banks in France than risk investing overseas.

They further discussed taxation, where the potential of exempting crypto-crypto exchanges from taxation was suggested. Le Maire’s position was that cryptocurrency should be taxed once it was sold for fiat and transferred to a bank account. He also suggested that ICOs needed to be “professionalized” and evaluated by an independent agency, in order to create a secure environment in which the public could trade and invest.

“You have with me a total and determined support to change things,” concluded the Finance Minister, “to ensure that we take advantage of the momentum in order to remove the most obstacles to the development of the French ‘crypto’ ecosystem.”

It appears that with Le Maire in charge of finance, the French government is clearly keen to move discussions and regulation on at a pace. Both France and Germany seem to be in agreement on cryptocurrency issues, both advocating moves towards a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. German banks have made it quite clear that effective regulation of virtual currencies is an international imperative.


Follow on Twitter at

Telegram Alerts from at

The post French Finance Minster’s Gallic Crypto Passion appeared first on

Regulation and Innovation, a Crypto Future in France

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire recently described cryptocurrency as a “revolution”; income tax on crypto has been axed  by the French government, and former French finance minister Christine Lagarde, now IMF head, described future international digital currency regulation as “inevitable”.

Lagarde even expressed interest in the creation of an IMF cryptocurrency last year, after comments she made about the benefits of weaker economies having their own digital currencies.

With such apparent Gallic positivity, where then, is France at this moment in time in its journey down the blockchain and crypto trail, and what lies ahead in the future?

A recent report in Coin Telegraph suggests that France is in a good position for more leadership in the crypto industry, providing that clarification of current rules is established and new legislation is brought to bear.

According to Jonathan Klein, president at Tresorio, a French-based blockchain mining and trading company, Emmanuel Macron was ahead of his peers launching discussions within France with other members of the crypto community even before his election as president. In 2017, Macron, as minister of the economy, passed a bill authorizing what could become a blockchain mini market. Klein also suggests that as a former banker and technophile, Macron could be at the forefront of driving cryptocurrency in France.

Likewise, Le Maire’s comments in Buenos Aires earlier this year, saying that “France will not miss the blockchain revolution” indicates that there is genuine interest at the highest level to continue to develop and regulate the space to promote, rather than curb, the new technology.

Clearly, the French government has not been static on the subject of regulation. In recent months a decree was published by the government related to the possibility of transferring financial securities through a blockchain. A government cryptocurrency working group was formed and new tax guidelines governing cryptocurrency were formulated.

ICOs have also been under the microscope. William O’Rorke, legal advisor at Blockchain Partner, explains:

“France is about to introduce a completely novel framework for ICOs: a voluntary visa system that incorporates much of the ‘best practices’ advocated for by the French crypto-industry. ICOs that comply with these best practices will thus be able to apply for official approval by the regulator.”

He continues, “As of today, simple things like opening a bank account can prove difficult for crypto-projects.” O’Rorke argues that the visa system will enable ICOs to interact simply with institutions such as banks who elsewhere might be overprotective to towards the client in case of cryptocurrency transactions, such as in the US.

France has recently been described as one of the most forward-looking governments in Europe. The French government’s latest announcement, to lower the tax rate for gains generated by cryptocurrencies, seems to indicate that France has set its path towards adapting to what lies ahead in the coming years, as it moves towards finding the right regulatory processes for the country’s crypto future.


*Follow on Twitter at @BitcoinNewsCom*
*Telegram Alerts from at*

The post Regulation and Innovation, a Crypto Future in France appeared first on

French CryptoCurrency Plan Unclear but Optimistic

French minister of finance and economics, Bruno Le Maire, has made comments recently which appear to extol the merits of cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies as being revolutionary.

Le Maire suggested that blockchain technology would offer startups the option to “…create a network of trust without intermediaries…and offer increased traceability of transactions” generating a climate for a more efficient French economy.

The minister suggested that France should become “actors” rather than “spectators” although he clarified that the government should still be wary of speculation, security issues and criminal activities such as money laundering.

French comments were made prior to the recent G20 summit this month in which there was at least some agreement on cryptocurrencies regarding the need for regulation. France and Germany are in agreement, both advocating moves towards a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. German banks have made it quite clear that effective regulation of virtual currencies is an international imperative.

Some French enthusiasm for cryptocurrency at a governmental level can be due in part to French National Assembly member Laure de La Raudiere, a Republican who represents the Eure-et -Loir region of France. As part of another investigation into the use of blockchain technology, she was asked to lead The National Assembly’s Mission d’information in order to inform legislators on how the technology should be used and regulated. La Raudiere’s is scheduled to take six months to complete this prior to the G20’s next meeting where cryptocurrency regulation will return to the agenda.

Less vague, and certainly more optimistic, comments were recently made by Raudiere when she suggested that recent legislative amendments attempting to ban peer-to-peer technology revealed a “total misunderstanding” of the nature of the technology, pointing out that most of the time it was the way technology was used, not the technology itself that required restrictions.


The post French CryptoCurrency Plan Unclear but Optimistic appeared first on