The Legal Status of Cryptocurrencies in the World: France

19 MAR 2020 18:45

The Orion Finance team continues to travel across Europe, despite the quarantine and closed borders. Today we will tell you about the crypto laws of the most romantic country - France.

It’s important to notice that currently in France there is no special legislation regulating cryptocurrencies. Nevertheless, the French government keeps abreast and even sometimes poke sticks into spokes. 

The reputable organisations The French Financial Market Authority (Autorité des marchés financiers, AMF) and the Prudential Supervisory Authority (Autorité de contrôle prudential et de résolution, ACPR) several times hinted to investors that it is better not to deal with cryptocurrencies. In their statements, AMF and ACPR have repeatedly emphasized that cryptocurrencies are not financial instruments and, accordingly, are not subject to French law. It was also pointed out that cryptocurrency exchanges for fiat can be performed only by services licensed by ACPR.

In general, France in its statements separates “blockchain as technology” and cryptocurrencies. French encourages the development of technology but calling for tighter control of cryptocurrencies. And there are more and more such calls.

So, in September 2019, France called on the European Union to ban Libra. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Mayor said Libra poses risks to the financial system and is even an invasion of the political sovereignty of the state. Then Bruno Le Maire

reported that in France, income from cryptocurrencies trading will be taxed when exchanging for fiat currencies. Also if cryptocurrencies are used to pay for goods or services, transactions will be subject to VAT. And in January 2020, the head of the Bank of France, François Villeroi de Halo, said that central banks, and not private companies, should deal with the issue of cryptocurrencies (this state shows his not-so-deep understanding of the topic).

It is interesting, that cryptocurrencies were involved in the election race in France. Crypto enthusiasts supported the victory of Macron, expecting him to support the crypt and the innovations. However, until now, there is no major progress in this issue, except for Macron’s calls for using the blockchain in the agro-tech sphere.