France cuts cryptocurrency capital gains tax in half

France cuts cryptocurrency capital gains tax in half

Regulators in France could be warming up to cryptocurrencies. The digital currency has been considered by the country’s tax officials to be “commercial and industrial property” since 2014 and, as such, administered a capital gains tax of 45% on its sale. After a fair amount of backlash and continued community support, that amount has now been lowered to a flat rate of 19%. Of course, there are certain exceptions.

A group of taxpayers had lobbied against the tax plan and took their grievance to the High Administrative Court earlier this year. The court listed, pondered and finally agreed, forcing the Council of State (COS) to change the rules, French media outlet Le Monde reported. Now, cryptocurrencies are considered movable property and lowered the taxes. The COS added, however, that any income gained from activities such as mining, not from the sale of cryptocurrency, would still be considered gains on commercial and industrial property and would be charged taxes at the higher bracket.

Cryptocurrency has been received in France with a certain amount of enthusiasm not seen in many other countries. In 2017, Robert Ophèle, chief of French stock market regulator AMF, signaled support for digital currency when he said that it could serve a legitimate business purpose. While the overall attitude may be favorable, there are still some in the country, such as Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau, who are calling for more emphasis on cryptocurrency exchanges.

de Galhau, who sought for a global approach to the markets, previously said, “In particular, we should work on exchanges and platforms which provide services at the interface between crypto-assets and the real economy.” In February, de Galhau was behind a movement, along with the finance ministers from both France and Germany, to have the G20 discuss how they could collectively begin to implement transnational regulation.

In the middle of March, French Minister of Finance and Economics Bruno Le Maire wrote an opinion piece, in which he stated: “A revolution is underway, of which bitcoin was only the precursor. The blockchain will offer new opportunities to our startups, for example with the Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) that will allow them to raise funds through ‘tokens,’ crypto-actives or not. It promises to create a network of trust without intermediaries, to offer increased traceability of transactions and, overall, to make the economy more efficient.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.
French central bank warns financial institutions to stay out of crypto

French central bank warns financial institutions to stay out of crypto

It’s painfully obvious that French regulators need a few lessons on the topic of cryptocurrency. In a recently-released report by the Bank of France (BoF), officials are hoping to implement some drastic legislation that will seriously hinder the advancement of the digital currency in the country. It’s a step back for cryptocurrency, but not at all surprising from the country that thinks escargot is a viable dinner.

The BoF disseminated a report on March 5, outlining how it views cryptocurrency, and the opinion is definitely not vague. The bank said that cryptocurrencies are not money or legal tender and only serve to facilitate cyber-attacks and money laundering. It added that there is virtually no value in crypto-assets. Translated from the French report, the authors of the report argue, “The anonymity that characterizes the means of production and transfer of the majority of crypto-assets favors above all a risk of them being used to criminal ends (sold on the internet for illicit services or goods) or used to the end of money laundering and the financing of terrorism.”

The BoF goes on to indicate that it would support any action that prohibits banks, trusts and insurance companies from taking deposits or loans that have their origin in crypto. It also is pushing for a prohibition on any type of marketing that suggest crypto is a valid product for financial growth, except in certain limited instances, including marketing to only highly experienced investors. No one becomes a highly experienced investor unless they’re an inexperienced investor. It’s the whole “learn to crawl before you can walk” principle.

The next section in the report mimics what has so many banks concerned these days. The BoF said that the cryptocurrency industry has the potential to destabilize financial markets. In case the report authors missed the memo, that’s the whole idea. There seems to be a trend among a large number of banks that focuses only on saving their own assets, and not doing what is best for the community. This, as has been repeatedly demonstrated, is one of the main driving factors behind cryptocurrencies.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
French financial authorities crack down on crypto trading sites

French financial authorities crack down on crypto trading sites

As the European market continues to grapple with the ever rising crypto world and the corresponding markets, the Authorite de Marches Financieres (AMF) in France has come up with a list of websites that offer cryptocurrency services and is advising customers not to engage or trade in these platforms.

At first glance the blacklist appeared to be an outright ban although on closer examination, it was not the case. The AMF is merely advising the listed websites to register with the government agency before conducting business to the French public. It appeared that there are a large number of websites—at least 15 were identified by the AMF—that were operating independently of the French financial authorities in this regard. The AMF has now issued a press release listing all those websites which offer crypto trading and which do not have the license from the authorities to do so.

In a statement, the AMF said: “The investment proposals highlighting the possibility of a financial returns or a similar economic effect involve intermediation in miscellaneous assets and are now subject to ex ante control by the AMF. Consequently, no offer can be directly marketed in France on without prior allocation by the AMF of a registration number.”

The companies that keep advertising and marketing to the French public include AKJ Crypto, Bank Crypto, Bcon Bank, Bit Crypto, Bourse Bitcoin, Crypteo, Crypto Bank Web, Crypto Major, Crypto Partners Invest, BND Group, Private Finances, ECS Solutions, Ether Invest, Kraken Access, and Mine de Crypto.

The list of all unauthorized websites to offer atypical investments is available in the AMF’s website. The registration numbers delivered by the AMF are also available on the website. This list of websites may change very quickly and this list is not intended to be exhaustive. So it would be good to follow up with the government agency on what is authorised for trading.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
French government announces new cryptocurrency regulation working group

French government announces new cryptocurrency regulation working group

The French government has set up working group to examine cryptocurrency regulation in the country.

The working group was announced by the Bruno Le Maire, the French economy minister, in a speech on Monday, where he spoke about a desire to prevent ‘misuse’ of cryptocurrencies through regulation.

Nominating former deputy governor of the French central bank, Jean-Pierre Landau, as lead for the new working group, the minister said new guidelines were necessary to limit the risks of cryptocurrencies, as well as cracking down on potential criminal misuses.

“We want a stable economy. We reject the risks of speculation and the possible financial diversions linked to Bitcoin…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,” Le Maire said.

The decision to establish the new working group comes a matter of weeks after Le Maire raised cryptocurrency regulation at the most recent G20 summit, and comes alongside a pledge to further highlight the need for regulation at an international level.

At the time, Le Maire suggested that G20-wide regulation may be more effective in regulating cryptocurrency markets.

“There is evidently a risk of speculation. We need to consider and examine this and see how…with all the other G20 members we can regulate Bitcoin,” according to the minister.

The news comes just 24 hours after a similar suggestion from a director of the German central bank, Joachim Wuermeling, who was quoted as saying international regulation would be required to control cryptocurrency markets.

“Effective regulation of virtual currencies would therefore only be achievable through the greatest possible international cooperation, because the regulatory power of nation states is obviously limited,” Wuermeling said.

After significant speculation and volatility into cryptocurrency markets over the last few months, regulators globally have stepped up efforts to introduce regulation at a national level.

Meetings between authorities in South Korea, China and Japan have also been held, to discuss a regional harmonization of cryptocurrency regulations, although regulation in the region remains patchy and variable for the time being.

It remains to be seen whether the French working group will deliver new national regulations for France, and whether calls for an international regulatory consensus are able to get off the ground.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.