French Minister of finance Bruno Le Maire has pro-actively expressed support for Blockchain and cryptocurrency. He aims to make France the leading ICO (or Blockchain based start-ups) hub in Europe. The Finance Ministry under Le Maire has proposed two bills to the French Parliament. These are expected to come into effect post-2019 Budget session. The ICO regulatory law will pass under PACTE (Plan d’Action pour la Croissance et la Transformation des Entreprises) plan, and a new tax regime will be established for capital gains from cryptocurrency. Under the new regulatory framework, the French Government looks out for both the entrepreneurs and institutional investors.
The Finance Ministry of France has proposed tax relief for Bitcoin investors, by bringing down the capital gain tax on cryptocurrency from 36% to 30%. Thirty per cent is the tax imposed on gains from all other capital investment as well. This brings a near 20% tax relief for Bitcoin investors in France.
PACTE (Plan d’Action pour la Croissance et la Transformation des Entreprises) introduced by the French regulators is a plan of action for transforming enterprises. The financial Amendment Article 26 also incorporates and recognised cryptocurrencies as ‘tokens’ and also plans to lay down guidelines to perform an ICO (Initial Coin Offering).
Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF, Financial Market Authority, the French regulator) will be consulted on matters of performing an ICO; the parliament is also looking at proposals of requiring prior license and permission before releasing the tokens for sale.
The French Financial law-keepers, Financial Action Task Force (FATF) have also cracked down on certain exchanges to deter money laundering. They are imposing regulations and emphasising on an AML/KYC verification and a close watch on its endeavours.
The regulatory framework will promote the development of cryptocurrency and blockchain innovation in France. US, Singapore, Sweden, UK, Japan and Switzerland are all ahead in the field with higher rates of adoption and ‘ease of doing business’.