On Thursday, January 18th, the French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire announced France and Germany will make a joint proposal for Bitcoin and digital currency regulation at the next G20 summit in March. Le Maire, and his German equivalent Peter Altmaier, made the announcement at a joint news conference in Paris.

“We will have a joint Franco-German analysis of the risks linked to bitcoin, regulation proposals,” said Le Maire. “[These] will be submitted as a joint proposal to our G20 counterparts at the G20 summit in Argentina in March.”

“We have a responsibility towards our citizens to explain and reduce the risks,” said Altmaier, the German Federal Minister of Finance.

The next G20 summit will be held in Argentina. The summit brings together G20 member countries, the European Union, and representatives of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The countries created the Group of Twenty (G20) to broaden the dialogue on key economic and financial policy issues. A key goal is to promote cooperation between significant economics. 

G20 digital currency regulation

Bitcoin advocates expected France, under centrist Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron, to support digital currencies. However, the Macron’s France is moving towards regulation. How restricting French regulation will be, though, is as of yet unknown.

Minster of the Economy Bruno Le Maire announced a “digital currencies mission” on January 15th, 2017 and appointed former Bank of France (BOF) deputy governor Jean-Pierre Landau as a workgroup leader for the formulation of digital currency regulation.

“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,” said Le Maire.

Landau is not known for his support of digital currencies and once described Bitcoin as the “tulip of the 21st Century.”

The German Finance Ministry has been monitoring the development of bitcoin and the digital currency market.

BaFin – the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority first defined digital currencies and the laws which would govern them in December 2013 and keeps current its stance and that of the European Banking Authority (EBA).

Joachim Wuermeling, a member of the board of Germany’s central bank the Bundesbank, this week expressed concern that national rules “may struggle to contain a global phenomenon.”

Last month the European Union agreed on stricter rules to prevent money laundering and other criminal related activities on digital currency exchanges.


Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


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