France Pushes for Transboundary Crypto Regulation in Europe

Last week, France has enacted the country’s first regulatory framework governing crypto-asset intermediaries

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Monday that his country is going to push the crypto regulation agenda to persuade more European partners to follow suit and develop common, robust rules.

Last week, France enacted the country’s first regulatory framework governing crypto-asset intermediaries. As reported by Reuters, the French parliament passed a bill that will allow for cryptocurrencies to be recognized in the country, while ensuring the authorities can tax profits generated by the operators and investors in the sector.

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The bill requires cryptocurrency exchanges as well as custodian providers to undergo a mandatory AMF registration and obtain a certification to be granted by the French watchdog.

However, France wasn’t the first European nation to tax crypto revenues, as Spain also applies taxes to cryptocurrencies transactions and its residents must disclose any profit obtained from these activities.

France has previously introduced its own guidelines governing the ICOs and similar token sales earlier in 2018 and then proposed legislative amendments to put cryptocurrency related entities under the legislative purview of its financial watchdog.

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The new framework also comes with hefty fines for those who fail to comply, but will not reimburse investors for their losses as it happens with compensation funds that cover traditional investments.

Rules vary, but all regulators are cracking down

“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 said in Paris at an event on blockchain technology.

He added that his country would give other governments an insight into what makes for a good set of crypto regulations so that other nations can follow suit in securing the industry. “Our model is the right one,” Le Maire added.

Although it is hard to generalize the attitude towards cryptocurrency across Europe, some major countries – including in France and Germany – have repeatedly called for more discussions on the topic.

Rules vary wildly by country because of the lack of pan-European legislation. But overall, local regulators across Europe are cracking down on trading venues that lack permission to offer brokerage services. In this context, ESMA has already proposed restrictions on cryptocurrency CFDs for retail investors, including lowering the maximum leverage that companies can offer.

The European Union has previously proposed that cryptocurrency service providers be brought under the scope of its anti-money ‎laundering and countering terrorist financing regulations.‎

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