France’s Minister for the Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, confirmed the acceptance of the legal ICO framework in a recent tweet. See below (translated from French):
✅Article 26 adopté en commission #PACTE ! ➡️Un cadre juridique des #ICO est créé. L’@AMF_actu pourra délivrer un visa aux acteurs respectant des critères de protection des épargnants➡️Ce cadre juridique va attirer les innovateurs du monde entier #blockchain #DirectAN— Bruno Le Maire (@BrunoLeMaire) 12 September 2018
The ICO framework drafted back in March seeks to protect investors by introducing a voluntary “ICO visa” system.
Companies seeking to launch an ICO may apply for the visa by submitting their whitepaper to French authorities for review. The whitepaper must include specific details and guarantees for investors in order to be granted a visa, including:
- A description of the project related to the ICO and its roadmap
- The rights conferred by the token
- The legislative court in the case of disputes
- The economic purpose and use of funds collected during the ICO
The visa excludes foreign corporations in an attempt to attract more projects to incorporate within the French nation.
The new ICO visa will enable legitimate projects to more easily access services from banks and accounting firms, which to date has been difficult due to the regulatory uncertainty in the sector.
Pierre Noizat, the CEO of Blockchain.io, a new French cryptocurrency exchange offering a platform for companies to launch their ICOs is set to conduct their own ICO this coming Thursday, September 27.
Blockchain.io has been shortlisted to obtain an official ICO visa license from the AMF, when asked about his thoughts on the new ICO framework, Pierre shared:
“The French government is not hiding its ambition to make France an ICO capital, as they do not want to miss out on the blockchain revolution. They are regularly speaking with French blockchain and crypto-entrepreneurs in France in order to get a better grasp on the market, to understand its problems, and to regulate the market accordingly.”
The crypto regulatory task force appointed by France’s Finance Minister earlier this year has been the primary driving force behind the slew of positive regulatory changes towards crypto in France. In April, Bitcoin taxation was effectively lowered from a progressive taxation of 14 and 45 percent to a fixed rate of 19 percent.
France’s new legal ICO framework is part of a greater push from the government to keep French blockchain projects within the nation by providing greater clarity and certainty around ICO regulations.
Further regulations are still required for this nascent space, however, there is little doubt that French authorities have a positive attitude and outlook when it comes to the future of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies overall.