French Finance Minister Passionate About Blockchain
Bruno Le Maire, the French Finance Minister, is the latest—and the most senior—European official to go public about his interest in the Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.
During a breakfast with French entrepreneurs, notably the co-founder of the French startup Blockchain Partner, Alex Stachtchenko, the Minister said that the Blockchain industry has his “total and determined support.” Roughly translating, he said:
“I was a neophyte a year ago, but now I’m passionate. It took me a year. Let us show a lot of pedagogy with our fellow citizens to make France the first place of blockchain & crypto-active innovation in Europe.”
He discussed how some of the main barriers standing in front of the space can be addressed. To begin with, he spoke about the anti-competitive practices used by banks to deny accounts to companies working in the blockchain industry and the need for such practices to be removed.
Alex Stachtchenko later talked about what Le Maire said. Stachtchenko said:
“On this subject, between the State on one side and the project promoters on the other – I quote – ‘the interests are aligned.’ The first because it needs to keep the creators of value and the second because it is better to take a known and strong French bank than to risk its capital on foreign accounts or foreign risky banks. The minister thus undertakes to support our cause with the French Central Bank in particular.”
Coming to taxation, the Minister feels that the best way of putting taxes on cryptos is by taxing people just once—when their holdings are fully sold for fiat which is sent to their bank account. Although much has been discussed, before making decisions, Le Maire “wishes to deepen discussions on tax competitiveness issues in particular, through regular exchanges with the ecosystem, to develop effective relevant measures.”
The French Finance Minister then talked about ICOs and said that it “is necessary to professionalize the ICOs and their evaluation, whether by independent rating agencies, the AMF label, or other methods, in order to promote the adoption of the general public in a sustainable and secure way.”
Finally, he said that he “wishes to discuss a maximum of topics to ensure that we take advantage of the momentum in order to remove the most obstacles to the development of the French ‘crypto’ ecosystem.”
Having such ministers think about the Blockchain industry would certainly help in giving the industry the right direction, and a much-needed push.