By David Drake
Like many countries in Europe, France is not new to cryptocurrencies. However, its popularity in the cryptocurrency space is getting better and better. This is because the French Parliament has adopted an initial coin offerings framework proposed by the country’s financial market regulator.
According to the regulator, the country is positioning itself to become an ICO hub in Europe. This view is shared by Bruno Le Maire, the minister in charge of economy and finance in France.
Le Maire has been reported saying that the country is aiming to become the very first key financial center to put in place a legal framework. Such a framework enables companies that initiate initial coin offerings to demonstrate to potential investors how serious they really are.
To run ICOs in France, companies will be required to submit an application for a visa. The application will involve submitting project white papers to the French government for review. In the white paper, companies are expected to provide guarantees and specific project details for investors to get a visa.
Such details include project details related to the proposed ICO, rights conferred by tokens, legal dispute resolution, the project roadmap, how funds collected will be utilized and the economic purpose of the ICO.
France is undertaking tasks that will propel it to become Europe’s top ICO hub, which is a move that is making players feel the country is on the right track.
ONe Network CEO and founder, John Hoelzer says, “I believe this is a step in the right direction. It seems fairly straight forward and should help foster some companies to want to do business there. I believe ask long as the process is not extremely lengthy and burdensome it should prove helpful. Protecting investor/contributors is key to market success and proper regulation is important in allowing the market to thrive in the future.”
It is anticipated that with the framework in place, France will experience a rise in the number of ICOs launched in the country.
Iagon CEO Navjit Dhaliwal says, “We’ve seen the way in which the cryptocurrency space is continuing to grow, while infiltrating multiple industries, including, of course, the FinTech space, and this will be of no exception. Expanding the overall ICO framework to include an ICO Visa System is going to allow reputable businesses, who seek additional access to banking and accounting services, the chance to enter the space and expand their reach with simplicity.”
Growth is not the only impact that the ICO framework will have on the French market. According to Dhaliwal, other countries are likely to move in this direction in the near future. “There is no doubt that, although France is one of the first countries to delve into these types of regulatory changes, there is definitely going to be others that soon follow suit in order to compete for dominance,” he adds.
This is not the first time France is taking deliberate steps to enhance investor confidence. Just a few months ago, the country reduced tax rates to a low of 19% from 45% to facilitate the purchase and selling of cryptocurrencies. This decision was a result of an appeal raised by citizens requesting for a review of cryptocurrency transaction rules that had not been re-examined since 2014.
Disclaimer: David Drake is on the advisory board for most of the firms mentioned or quoted in this article.