Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau has recently commented that new laws are required to cover cryptocurrency exchanges
De Galhau, who also sits on the European Central Bank‘s Governing Council, made the comments at the City Week banking conference in London on April 24. The Bank of France’s chief has made lukewarm comments about cryptocurrency in the past, so his comments are seen as somewhat contrary to his previous statements. In 2017, for example, De Galhau made comments that:
“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.”
He has since been reported as saying that the ECB should,
“…work on exchanges and platforms which provide services at the interface between crypto-assets and the real economy,”
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 French Ministry of the Economy has since formed a task force in order to consider regulation, primarily aimed at addressing cybercrime, money laundering, and tax evation.The task force was also created to develop possible international legislation of the cryptocurrency market.
Unexpectedly it appeared that France was beginning to look more favorably on digital assets when, in March, French financial regulators proposed new legislation for ICO’s in order that they could be used in legitimate investment scenarios. Also, the French government now encourages fintech companies to trade securities using blockchain platforms.
ECB Supervisory Board Chair, Daniel Nouy, was showing little enthusiasm for cryptocurrency adoption when she said recently that EU regarded digital currency as, “not exactly very high on its to-do list.” She went on to say, “We scrutinize the issue in a regulatory perspective, we are ready to do something if it was needed…”
The French aim is still geared towards establishing a more global regulatory network as digital currency is used globally, not simply in France. French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, has suggested that the G20 need to reach agreement on how Bitcoin could be regulated amongst the member countries.