France May Tighten Digital Asset Regulations

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French regulators slightly uneased by the rate of development and use of cryptocurrencies have called for increased regulations. First reported by The Tokenist, financial regulators recognize the role the blockchain could play in finance once integrated, however, feel that the function of anonymity of some cryptocurrencies calls for concern.

In a move to provide more oversight on the industry, the French National Assembly’s Finance Committee published a report urging for refinement of current laws governing the blockchain industry.

Author of the report, Eric Woerth, who also chairs the finance committee has strong opposition towards cryptocurrency mining in France — discouraging the enterprise — citing environmental impact. This is due to the fact that cryptocurrency mining takes a toll on the environment as it is not energy efficient.

Woerth has also called for a systematic regulatory framework towards privacy coins which allows users transact without a trace of transaction history between parties. In his opinion, many aspects of the cryptocurrency industry “remain hidden, non-transparent and opaque”.

Apparently, the report was not all grim, as the committee finds that the integration of blockchain into the financial system can streamline processes to provide more efficient service delivery. Noting that while typical banking operations and services can involve as many as forty intermediaries – individuals, insurers, banks, customs, maritime operators, and so on, the interactions between the systems can better be managed on the blockchain.

“… [We] can legally favor the blockchain and condemn at the same time the release of crypto-assets deliberately aimed at maintaining [the] anonymity of their holders and thus serve as a ‘cache’ for traffic of all kinds… [and] build a fair and proportionate regulation.”

Last year, the French were warming up to cryptocurrency regulations as it was recognized as a revolutionary financial innovation, and was preparing in the event of an international regulation to which it saw as inevitable. However, with Woerth’s report, it may be a little harsher than reality once full legislation is in effect, considering digital assets and blockchain go hand-in-hand.

Germany is taking an alternate route to inclusion with the recognition of blockchain-based securities as legitimate forms of financial instruments. More so, as with a few other jurisdictions, it requested for input from players in the blockchain industry, it may be angling itself to becoming a pro-digital asset jurisdiction, taking a leading role in the EU.


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