A real estate transaction via blockchain in 2017 in Boulogne Billancourt, a Contract management application using blockchain by Le Village de la Justice, smart contracts here and there, ICOs of more and more popular, Carrefour which uses the technology of the distributed ledger to monitor its products… Blockchain technology is gaining space in France! In addition, the authorities are beginning to develop and pass laws regarding its uses. French pro-crypto MPs even want to invest 500 million euros to make France a “blockchain nation” .
Is this really going to happen? Will the blockchain be used in government business? Justice ? Banking services? The accounts? Buying and selling operations? Acquisitions and transfers of property? In the daily life of the French?
Democratization on the right track
Crypto-entrepreneurs are growing in number, making it their mission to inform the public about the potential and challenges of blockchain. Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) seem to be successful as a new fundraising method. This did not fail to attract the attention of the AMF ( Autorité des marchés financial ) which has put in place a legal framework to protect investors while encouraging this practice.
The ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry was particularly interested in the development of blockchain technology after being challenged by the strong fluctuation of bitcoin at the end of 2017. 1 bitcoin was equivalent to almost 19,000 dollars! Bercy has realized the potential of this technology and is working to democratize and promote it. In December 2017, the Council of Ministers notably adopted an ordinance allowing the transfer of ownership of certain financial securities via the blockchain. It was a first!
More and more clear legal frameworks
In October 2018, MEPs voted on a framework governing the activities of ICO project promoters and crypto-asset service providers, in this case cryptocurrency exchange platforms, cryptographic key custodians, investment advisers. , etc. They even have the possibility of obtaining a visa from the stock market gendarme (AMF), then a bank account with this visa. Banks previously refused to open accounts to crypto entrepreneurs for fear of money laundering.
In mid-November 2018, an adequate tax regime was voted: capital gains made by individuals on cryptoassets will be taxed at 30%. This rate is identical to that for securities, considered dissuasive by investors. Transactions between cryptocurrencies will however be exempt. The AMF will definitively pass the Pacte law in spring 2019 and issue a label. However, companies that have completed their 2017 or 2018 project will not benefit since they will have already made good progress.
Research and practice
This is about enabling the public sector to implement blockchain technology to support efforts already nurtured by the private sector. These members of the French Parliament published a report on December 12th presenting 20 proposals to support the development and widespread adoption of blockchain.
They want to speed things up so that “2019 is the year of blockchain in France”. If the technology is still in its experimental stage today, they want to move quickly to industrial implementation to see the emergence of blockchain in the daily life of the public. They therefore suggest that the National Research Agency make significant investments in blockchain research.