The l’Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), which is the French body of financial markets regulation, is currently preparing legislation for the blockchain industry’s latest fascination; ICOs.
An ICO, or Initial Coin Offering, is a means to raise fund via the issuance of tokens to the public before listing on a cryptocurrency exchange, and according to French newspaper Les Echos, France is optimistic on cryptocurrency and ICOs.
‘Whitelist’ for ICOs
ICO regulations by French authorities would facilitate token issuers with an authorization system to easily obtain the ICO-license from the AMF. The report further suggests that unregistered ICOs shall not be banned, and a licensed ICO token would need to provide a particular set of assurances to investors in relation to the usage of raised funds. However, they will not be deemed “credible” by the French government.
The credible, licensed tokens shall be put on a “whitelist,” which shall serve investors as a valuable benchmark and help them differentiating serious blockchain projects from vapourware. Hence, the whitelist shall protect the investor’s money and avoid potential ICO scams, which is a mounting issue in the cryptocurrency market. The whitelist concept is similar to a regulatory approach taken by Japan.
The development was confirmed by the French Ministry for the Economy and Finance, which agreed that AMF’s ICO framework would certainly recognize ICOs as a legal means of investment. The regulatory framework proposed by the AMF would recognize ICOs as a legitimate means of investment. Preliminary rounds of consultations with stakeholders and associations would be necessary, the Ministry further noted.
The Ministry of Finance was quoted saying:
“Our goal is to provide legal certainty for those who seek it, without hindering those who want to follow their own path. We have a rather liberal approach. We work for a flexible, non-dissuasive framework. At the same time, we are not naive either; we know that these products can be risky.”
The minister of finance, Bruno Le Maire, said “A revolution is underway. Let’s not be mere spectators: become actors in this revolution. 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,’ or crypto-assets.”
France Wants to Capture Blockchain Innovation
An ecstatic Le Maire, further added that his Ministry shall root for cryptocurrencies and blockchain at the G20 summit, placing France’s ambition to be “at the heart of discussions with international partners.”
Surprisingly, the positive and supportive announcement comes on the back of a recent ban of 15 cryptocurrency and crypto-asset investment websites announced by AMF on March 15, as reported by BTCManager.
With this announcement, France clearly intends to differentiate itself from other global powers, thus creating a conduction environment for the development of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. Perhaps, it identifies the potential of the blockchain market and aims to become a hub for business, which would, in turn, help its economy.
In the words of Le Maire: “This is the role of France: to be a force of proposal to build the world of tomorrow. We will not miss the blockchain revolution!”