It is no longer a surprise that government officials and lawmakers across the world are putting a lot of effort and resources into monitoring or regulating cryptocurrencies. News of nations and regulators tackling digital currencies and announcing upcoming regulations come out every day. Recently, the European Union has been actively looking at crypto markets and bitcoin, but commissioners have said that they don’t consider it as an “alternate currency” and that they have no intention of regulating it at the moment.
However, it turns out that two member countries are now thinking of possible regulations for cryptocurrencies, especially for bitcoin. Germany and France have announced that they are joining forces and currently collaborating on drafting new laws for bitcoin and plan to unveil them at the next G20 summit, which is an international event where government officials from twenty different countries come together to discuss and promote economic stability and financial well-being across the globe. The next G20 is set to take place in Argentina in March 2018. The French Minister of Finance, Bruno Le Maire, was the first one to openly discuss the partnership, saying “We will have a joint Franco-German analysis of the risks linked to bitcoin, regulation proposals and these will be submitted as a joint proposal to our G20 counterparts at the G20 summit in Argentina in March” By doing this, the two countries want to reduce the risks associated with investing in cryptocurrencies. The speculative aspect and potential big losses are what the lawmakers are worried about. Furthermore, they want to stop individuals from using virtual currencies to carry out illegal activities such as terrorism funding, fraud, tax evasion and drug-related activities.
Just recently, France appointed a ‘Mr. Bitcoin’ whose role is to find ways to regulate internet currencies. Jean-Pierre Landau is now leading a special task force that is dedicated to monitoring crypto markets and coming up with potential new laws.
This announcement comes approximately at the same time as the IMF’s call for international cooperation to monitor and regulate cryptocurrencies. It seems that more and more countries and politicians are becoming wary of digital currencies and their applications. Every nation mentions illegal activities and financial fraud when it talks about regulating the financial assets. The question that can be asked now is “When will officials see the good in cryptocurrencies rather than always finding the bad?”. By realizing that there are numerous opportunities that come with the blockchain technology and smart contracts, some countries could actually benefit from using coins and tokens. Countries like Brazil and Russia seem to have understood the potential behind them. Time will tell how these countries implement them and how they can eventually positively change the society.
TLDR: France and Germany have announced that they are collaborating on drafting potential regulations for bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general. They plan to unveil the newly created laws at the next G20 summit in March, in Argentina.