France has announced its intention to embrace blockchain and cryptocurrencies, and in a couple of months, it may be the first to regulate ICOs and tax their profits. While France has so far been quiet in the blockchain industry with a small number of ICOs, 2019 could be a completely different crypto environment!
The French government aims to transform what are called “laws of vagueness” into clear regulations so investors can feel comfortable moving their entities into the country.
French Regulations are Moving Forward
Thanks to the PACTE law and the “Projet de Loi de Finances 2019” (2019 Financial Law Project) passed in September of 2018, the upcoming months will be key to France becoming a fertile territory to grow blockchain projects by offering protection to investors that current IPOs enjoy.
“ The Action Plan will provide companies with the resources they need in order to innovate. It will enable researchers to set up companies with the minimum of difficulty and simplify patent filing procedures for SMEs.”
The French financial regulator, AMF, and the government have developed great expertise on the topic and aim to help France lead this crypto revolution. The French crypto ecosystem is growing fast, uniting crypto believers, including developers, lawyers, consulting companies such as PWC, and enthusiasts of this decentralized world.
Companies can benefit from the help of universities such as Polytechnique and incubator programs focused on excellence. France wants to invest in innovation and technologies that will shape its future, as well as the entrepreneurs who are eager to test the French financial markets. Already “Station F” is becoming Paris’ Silicon Valley.
France has already taken the necessary steps to place itself at the crypto forefront and will soon be poised to set an example for the rest of Europe. Though other countries such as Korea and the US have seen great interest and adoption, their legislation is still unsteady and therefore it distances founders from operating from there.
Eastern European countries have been opening their arms to crypto for a while with low taxes and clear and stable regulations that assist its economy in attracting more crypto businesses. France can have an advantage over countries with grey regulations, like the US and Britain, and those with outright bans on cryptocurrencies, like China and South Korea.
The Current Crypto Scene in France
The French Crypto ecosystem is moving at an unprecedented pace! Its startups, such as Ledger, Tezos, ARK, IExec or ACINQ, are well-known internationally in the industry. Consensys recently expanded to Paris, and other large French companies, such as Carrefour and Trecento Capital, are implementing blockchain technologies.
The first French blockchain association was created in June, 2017 — way before Crypto Winter! The French Association for Crypto Currencies’ Management (AFGC) was founded by 10 early adopters, and they showed the way for their government to become a welcoming blockchain country.
The true potential of blockchain and crypto has yet to be unleashed, and Paris could benefit from its already established reputation and professionalism to become the European capital for ICOs and STOs. After the crypto crash and the rise of more stability, critics have been swayed and the future is bright, even though the question of adoption rumbles beneath all debates, most people agree with the potential.
Switzerland has benefitted from being one of the first countries to take steps to welcome crypto, and is now housing many groundbreaking projects thanks to its legislation. France has taken slower steps but now feels ready to open to the world. France will host more conferences and definitely need to present itself to the blockchain world as a more secure place in which to profit.
France, with the 6th largest economy in the world and one of the highest tax rates, is ironically poised to win over the crypto community’s hearts with the draw of regulation and security to investors. If the French government is ready to bring cryptocurrencies out of the shadows and help ICOs thrive under a legal framework, maybe this match is not so odd, because cryptocurrencies need the promise of stability right now. To sweeten the pot, the government has offered a reduced tax rate of 30% on cryptocurrency sales.
In the midst of the continuing Yellow Vest protests and the Cold Crypto Winter, the French need to attract crypto business and revenue. Could France become the new Crypto Capital of Europe? Will the Libertarian ideals of the crypto crowd mesh well with a socialist government? Say bonjour to the coming French crypto wave, because it may be too lucrative to miss out on!
By Solene Feuillu for Paris Blockchain Week