By: Cameron Bowen, 27 September 2018

French Regulations May Stimulate ICOs |

The French Parliament’s lower house started to debate core changes to France’s legal regulations regarding cryptocurrencies, digital assets, and ICOs. Specific items were introduced in June 2018, and debate formally began September 25. The proposal was introduced by Bruno Le Maire, Minister of Economy and Finance, to foster the development of “liberated companies”...”better funded, more innovative, and fairer.”

The proposal entitled “Plan for the Growth and Transformation of Enterprises” [“Plan d’Action pour la Croissance et la Transformation des Entreprises (PACTE)] will allow France to more closely collaborate with partner nations, some of which are already in support of fintech fundraising ICO methods. PACTE has already passed through early approval.

If adopted, the proposal would finally provide a concrete definition for cryptocurrencies and other cryptographic digital assets: “immaterial items, representing in digital form one or more rights, which could be issued, compiled, kept, and transferred through a digital shared instrument, allowing to identify - directly or indirectly - its owner.”

The Initial Coin Offering will also be more clearly defined. The proposal explains them simply as “public offerings for token subscriptions, in whatever form.”

These definitions and a number of suggested regulations have been put through a series of introductions, consultations, public comment periods, union presentations, and professional investigation sessions. The presentation before the Council of Ministers represents thoughts in a fairly developed form, one which is likely to closely resemble finalized regulations.

The Council of Ministers will debate the testimony and material. If they decide to pass it along, the Parliament will begin its formal review.

French ICO Quality Certificates

The French Financial Market Authority (AMF - Autorité des Marchés Financiers) would start to create “ICO Quality Certificates”, by which to demonstrate that an ICO is authentic, and not a scam. These certificates would not designate “good investments”, but would help French investors choose only grow legitimate fundraising ventures. Such a certificate would not be a legal requirement for an ICO.

The AMF also means to find a way to monitor security of ICOs and their resulting tokens. Transparency to regulation would be a necessary requirement of any ICO wanting to get an official government ICO quality certificate. A financial watchdog would be empowered by the French government to follow ICOs and the tokens they produce.

France is likely months away from adopting these measures. Parliament is expected to require a great deal of discussion and amendment, but should these proposals become law, France would have one of the most explicit cryptocurrency regulation frameworks of any major world power.

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