The French parliament has accepted an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) framework proposed by the country’s financial market regulators l’Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF). The new regulations may provide the necessary foundation to turn France into Europe’s leading ICO hub. First drafted in March of this year, the ICO framework is based on a voluntary “ICO visa” system, CCN reports.
Article 26 adopté en commission #PACTE !
Un cadre juridique des #ICO est créé. L’@AMF_actu pourra délivrer un visa aux acteurs respectant des critères de protection des épargnants
Ce cadre juridique va attirer les innovateurs du monde entier #blockchain #DirectAN
— Bruno Le Maire (@BrunoLeMaire) September 12, 2018
Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has been a long time advocate for cryptocurrency innovation within France. Early this year, Le Maire stated that he asked former bank official Jean-Pierre Landau to draft a proposal for legislative framework on cryptocurrencies.
“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 told French news website Numerama.
It appears Le Maire’s vision for the fintech future of France is one step closer to being realized. Within the newly accepted framework, companies seeking to launch ICOs are able to apply for special visas by submitting their whitepaper for review by French authorities. The specific details required in the whitepaper for approval are as follows:
- A description of the project related to the ICO and its roadmap;
- The rights conferred by the token;
- The legislative court in the case of disputes; and
- The economic purpose and use of funds collected during the ICO.
One of the companies already on the shortlist to obtain an official ICO license from the AMF is French cryptocurrency exchange platform Blockchain.io. The company is headed by CEO Pierre Noizat, who has announced Blockchain.io’s ICO launch scheduled for Thursday, September 27th. Noizat expressed his support for the national government’s efforts to understand the market through close communication with blockchain and cryptocurrency entrepreneurs.
“The French government is not hiding its ambition to make France an ICO capital, as they do not want to miss out on the blockchain revolution,” Noziat said. “They are regularly speaking with French blockchain and crypto-entrepreneurs in France in order to get a better grasp on the market, to understand its problems, and to regulate the market accordingly.” Blockchain.io also offers a platform for other companies to launch their own ICOs.
Suggested Reading : Take a look at our top cryptocurrency exchanges for 2018.
Finance Minister Le Maire’s ‘crypto regulatory task force’ established earlier this year is reported to be the driving force behind much of the regulatory support now being put in place by the federal government. In addition to this month’s progress, Le Maire played a key role in lowering Bitcoin‘s taxation rate from a progressive 14 to 45 percent rate to a fixed 19 percent.
While other country’s like China are actively working to drive out cryptocurrency related businesses, France has taken an entirely different approach. The French government has made it clear that its new ICO framework is part of a greater effort to incentivize French crypto and blockchain projects to continue supporting innovation within the country. While the EU and other European governing bodies continue to express fear and uncertainty towards the developing market, cryptocurrency enthusiasts should be reassured that there will be at least one crypto hub based in the heart of Europe.
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