Week after week regulators and governments have been announcing plans to regulate digital currencies like bitcoin. This week in France on January 15 the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire announced his decision to create a “digital currencies mission” and a working group that will work towards regulating cryptocurrencies. In addition to the digital currency objectives, Le Maire appointed the former Bank of France (BOF) deputy governor, Jean-Pierre Landau, as the new working groups leader.
A New Cryptocurrency Mission Will Begin In France Dedicated to Regulatory Action
Last Spring many bitcoin proponents thought French politicians and regulators might favor cryptocurrencies after the left-leaning president of France, Emmanuel Macron, was elected and photographed brandishing a Ledger hardware wallet. Now the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire says the country is creating a working group led by the former BOF deputy governor that will study digital currencies while also proposing regulatory standards.
“We want a stable economy: we reject the risks of speculation and the possible financial diversions linked to bitcoin,” explains the Minister of the Economy Monday morning. “I asked the Argentine G20 members to take up this issue and I have now entrusted Jean-Pierre Landau, the former deputy governor of the Banque de France, to complete a mission concerning cryptocurrencies.”
Jean-Pierre Landau’s mission will be responsible for proposing guidelines on the evolution of regulations and to better control development and prevent their use for the purpose of tax evasion, money laundering or for financing criminal activities and terrorism.
Jean-Pierre Landau: Bitcoins Are the Tulips of Modern Times
The Minister of the Economy’s choice in picking Jean-Pierre Landau goes alongside the authorities’ concerns about illegal activities tied to digital currencies. The former BOF deputy governor Landau has displayed his distaste for bitcoin publicly writing an opinion piece for the Financial Times in 2014. The editorial called, “Beware the mania for Bitcoin, the tulip of the 21st century” explains that Landau believes bitcoin is very much like the tulip mania that supposedly took place decades ago. Further cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are only attractive to criminals the BOF executive details.
“The currency is at present attractive for two reasons — One is anonymity, which makes it suitable for tax evasion and money laundering — This will not last; authorities are already wising up.
The other is pure speculation, and bitcoins are the tulips of modern times — The mania is not yet over, but the longer it lasts, the more investors are likely to be burnt.
France has a pretty active bitcoin community and they may not appreciate the newly appointed cryptocurrency mission commander. The nation is home to La Maison du Bitcoin (The Bitcoin House), the company Ledger Wallet’s headquarters, and a plaza called La Cercle du Bitcoin (Bitcoin Boulevard) with over 25 merchants who accept bitcoin.
What do you think about France appointing Jean-Pierre Landau as it’s cryptocurrency mission leader? Do you think his past opinions will affect the currency’s regulation going forward? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Images via Shutterstock, Analysis Group, and AP/reuters.
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Author: Jamie Redman