The French government has called for the regulation of cryptocurrencies, to curb tax evasion and what it considers illegal transactions, making the country the latest to seek to control the use of digital currencies.
Bruno Le Maire, who is the country’s finance minister, has asked a former head of the nation’s central bank to craft new regulations relating to use of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. While Le Maire hasn’t yet specified what the new regulations might entail, the government says it plans to also issue a warning to potential cryptocurrency investors, informing them that such investments are highly speculative and could be manipulated.
The move toward cryptocurrency regulation comes on the heels of President Marcon’s call for large technology companies to cease using what he believes are tax havens. He has also said that Europe needed to tackle the problem of tax evasion if it wanted to remain competitive with countries such as China and the United States.
However, some in Europe believe that it will be difficult for countries there to regulate cryptocurrencies. Joachim Wuermeling, who is a member of the board of Germany’s central bank, has said that the only way European countries could regulate cryptocurrencies is if there were significant cooperation between countries. He’s said that this would be necessary because individual countries in Europe have limited regulatory power.
Though the European Union has already taken some unified action in regards to cryptocurrencies. Last month, they agreed to regulations that would prevent cryptocurrency exchanges from engaging in the financing of terrorism as well as in money laundering.
France isn’t the only country trying to regulate cryptocurrencies. China has taken significant steps to limit their use, by outlawing initial coin offerings and closing various cryptocurrency exchanges, and by imposing rules against cryptocurrency mining. The latter is important because the country is home to the most cryptocurrency miners in the world. It has said that it had to limit mining in the country because of its excessive use of energy. Though, in spite of all this regulation, there is still much cryptocurrency activity in the country.
South Korea is also consider regulating cryptocurrencies. In fact, they are even considering outlawing cryptocurrency exchanges all together.