France announces Bitcoin regulations

France announces Bitcoin regulations

Prices all across the cryptocurrency market are plunging today in what many reports are calling a cryptocurrency ‘bloodbath’. As coinmarketcap shows, almost every coin is down by double digits with only Neblio and Tether managing to stay in the green.

Not a pretty sight. Source: Coinmarketcap.com

Reports are generally pinning the blame on a swathe of regulatory restrictions being placed upon cryptocurrency trading, most notably in China and South Korea. Some of these restrictions include the targeting of mobile apps which facilitate trading, and, in the case of South Korea, forbidding anonymous exchanges. This has been known for a couple of days, though, so what has catalysed today’s sea of red on the crypto market? Well, it seems that France has joined in with crypto regulation, too.

According to a report by French daily paper Les Echos, Minister of Economy Bruno le Maire yesterday appointed former deputy governor of the Banque de France, Jean-Pierre Landau, as the head of a task force which will oversee the implementation of cryptocurrency regulations in the country. So what is Mr. Landau – or “Monsieur Bitcoin” – going to do, and why?

It is not clear what regulatory action the French government will be enforcing; it depends on what Mr. Landau’s working group proposes after developing a framework. According to Mr. le Maire, the regulations will be implemented “to better control development [of cryptocurrencies] and prevent their use for purposes of tax evasion, money laundering or financing criminal activities or terrorism.”

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Fair enough at a first glance, though crypto enthusiasts are sure to treat this excuse with scepticism. After all, one of the key ideologies behind Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is that they give rise to an economic system which eludes any governmental interference. For many, being able to trade financially in an environment free from top-down corruption is what makes cryptocurrency so important.

However you take the news, it is likely that this is the reason why the cryptocurrency market has taken such a stumble. It will be interesting to see how and when the market will recover, as well as what Mr. Landau’s task force proposes. Whether it will set the tone for other EU countries remains to be seen.

(Author’s note: Some statements have been translated from French.)

  • Is this good or bad? Cryptocurrency is there as a means to remove governmental regulation from your money so why are the markets reacting so badly to it? Is it because most crypto investors right now are so entrenched in traditional trading that they don’t get what crypto achieves? Are they simply reacting to market forces and, more pertinently, with these traditional investors bringing more traditional trading trends to cryptocurrency, is the prospect of crypto becoming much more like traditional investment opportunities (i.e. marginal gains and losses) likely to happen in time as it mainstreams?

    Interesting thoughts.

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