What a uturn. “A revolution is underway… Let’s not be mere spectators: become actors in this revolution,” thundered Bruno Le Maire in the most astonishing uturn this space has ever seen.
“Finance is not our enemy, it is one of the assets of our economy!” The minister says before confirming the most radical and innovative regulatory proposal to date. We quote at some length a rough translation:
“The blockchain will offer new opportunities to our startups, for example with the Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) that will allow them to raise funds through “tokens”, cryptoassets.
It promises to create a network of trust without intermediaries, to offer increased traceability of transactions and, overall, to make the economy more efficient…
France has every interest in becoming the first major financial center to propose an ad hoc legislative framework that will allow companies initiating an ICO to demonstrate their seriousness to potential investors.
The Action Plan for the Growth and Transformation of Enterprises (PACTE), which will be presented by the Council of Ministers in a few weeks, will thus open the possibility for the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) to give a license to issuing companies.
Tokens that meet specific criteria that protect savers. This “white list” will be a valuable benchmark for investors who want to finance serious projects that create value. Clarifying the law to attract innovation, identify risks without hindering our ecosystem, that’s our approach.
With a simple objective: to enter the 21st century finance by guaranteeing to all actors the security necessary for their development.
No consumer, saver or entrepreneur can make a transaction, invest or develop an activity serenely in a regulatory vacuum. This is true in France as in the rest of the world.
At this very moment in Buenos Aires, on the occasion of the G20 summit, I place this ambition at the heart of discussions with my international partners.
This is the role of France: to be force of proposal to build the world of tomorrow. We will not miss the blockchain revolution!”
France is to set up a voluntary regulatory framework for ICOs as we recently revealed. It sounded too good to be true according to industry comments, so there was some uncertainty on whether they are really going ahead with it.
The French finance minister has now confirmed, and has used the podium of G20 to in effect wave the crypto flag.