Bitcoiners will be somewhat encouraged by France’s lukewarm assessment of how it should approach Bitcoin and virtual currencies.
A recently published Senate paper acknowledges that Bitcoin and virtual currencies will play an important role in the future. It takes a firm stance on this point when stating that they “can no longer be ignored by public authorities.”
Despite its risks, it offers promise as payment system and validation protocol (use as a currency is not mentioned).
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As to France’s overall position on the matter, the report goes on to rank the country halfway between the strictest jurisdictions such as China, Japan and Russia, and the most lenient jurisdictions, such as the United States, Canada and Israel. The selection of Japan and the latter three can make for an interesting point of discussion.
Thus, the biggest point of emphasis is the need to take a balanced approach: prevent abuse while preserving “the capacity of innovation.” In the end though, France still prefers to defer to the “European level” for official guidance.
France has been one of the more active European Union states seeking clarity on virtual currencies. It has recently taken some steps of its own on regulation and enforcement, after earlier appealing to the EU for clarification on the matter.