France Appoints ‘Mission Leader’ to Regulate Cryptocurrencies

The appointee, Jean-Pierre Landau, is known for his dislike of Bitcoin.

The hostility against Bitcoin in the European Union is growing day by day, and France is a step ahead of many countries. On Monday, the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, announced his decision to create a mission for cryptocurrencies and has set up a work group to study the feasibility of regulating them.

He also announced the appointment of Jean-Pierre Landau, the former deputy governor at the Bank of France, as the leader of the work group.

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Bruno Le Maire explained: “We want a stable economy: we reject the risks of speculation and the possible financial diversions linked to bitcoin.”

“I asked the Argentine G20 members to take up this issue and I have now entrusted Jean-Pierre Landau, the former deputy governor of the Banque de France, to complete a mission concerning cryptocurrencies,” he added.

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Explaining the role of Jean-Pierre Landau, Bruno Le Maire said: “Jean-Pierre Landau’s mission will be responsible for proposing guidelines on the evolution of regulations and to better control development and prevent their use for the purpose of tax evasion, money laundering or for financing criminal activities and terrorism.”

Jean-Pierre Landau is an individual with strong opinions about the crypto economy. In 2014, in an opinion piece for the Financial Times, Mr. Landau put forth his strong distaste for then nascent Bitcoin, comparing it with the infamous 17th-century tulip bulb speculation.

Mr. Landau wrote: “Beware the mania for Bitcoin, the tulip of the 21st century.”

He continued: “The currency is at present attractive for two reasons — One is anonymity, which makes it suitable for tax evasion and money laundering — This will not last; authorities are already wising up. The other is pure speculation, and bitcoins are the tulips of modern times — The mania is not yet over, but the longer it lasts, the more investors are likely to be burnt.”

France has a very active crypto community. Many major blockchain-based businesses, including the hardware wallet leader Ledger, are based in France. So any hard laws adopted by the country could reflect on the market directly.

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