France to create legal framework for cryptocurrency offerings
22 Mar 2018

France plans to create a legal framework for raising funds via cryptocurrencies and aims to become a leading center for offerings in bitcoin-style digital currencies, its finance minister wrote on a news website.

In an opinion piece on French website Numerama, Bruno Le Maire wrote that he had asked former central bank official Jean-Pierre Landau to draft a proposal for a legislative framework for digital currencies.

“France has every interest in becoming the first major financial center to propose an ad-hoc legislative framework for companies making an Initial Coin Offering,” Le Maire wrote.

An ICO involves a company raising funds by offering investors tokens in return for their cash or cryptocurrency such as bitcoin, as opposed to obtaining shares in the company from a traditional offering.

Le Maire said that an action plan to be presented to the French government in a few weeks will propose giving French market regulator Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) the option to authorize companies to issue “tokens” to raise funds, as long as they respect certain criteria to protect investors.

“This ‘white list’ will provide a precious reference for investors who want to finance serious projects,” he wrote.
Le Maire said that blockchain will offer unprecedented opportunities for French startups to raise funds by issuing tokens in Initial Coin Offerings.

“This promises to create a network of confidence without intermediaries, offers increased traceability and will boost economic efficiency,” Le Maire wrote.

– By Gert De Clercq, Reuters, 22 March 2018

Link here to the Reuters article.

Read more:

Switzerland issues regulatory guidance for ICOs

France looks into cryptocurrency regulation, bitcoin money laundering issues

UK financial watchdog warns of ICOs

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