French Finance Minister Wants Bitcoin Legislation Discussed At G20 Summit
G20 - an organization of twenty countries that represent almost all of the worlds trade volume, may be taking time out of their busy schedule to discuss bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and how they can be legislated. The charge is being led by French Minister of Finance, Bruno Le Maire. He was recently quoted as saying:
I am going to propose to the next G20 president, Argentina, that at the G20 summit in April we have a discussion altogether on the question of bitcoin. There is evidently a risk of speculation. We need to consider and examine this and see how ... with all the other G20 members we can regulate bitcoin."
Governments take bitcoin seriously
Bitcoin insiders like Andreas Antonopoulos have been predicting for years that governments would respond to Bitcoin once it became a large enough risk. Or at least, a large risk in the eyes of various governments.
Le Maire's comments imply that there is the worry in France that if Bitcoin were in fact in a speculative bubble - and many feel that it is - if the bubble bursts badly, the fallout on G20 countries economies could be devastating. His comments may also represent growing fears of cryptocurrency being used to launder money.
While most countries have still not directly banned or illegalized Bitcoin, many have moved to declare it not a currency but an asset class, similar to gold or silver. Russian leader Vladimir Putin echoed such sentiments last summer, and China has enacted laws that represent a similar viewpoint.
For France specifically, the finance minister has previously stated his support for the trading of unlisted companies shares through blockchain technology. He noted that doing so would: "allow fintech firms and other financial actors to develop new ways of trading securities that are faster, cheaper, more transparent and safer".
Clearly he is not against cryptocurrency technology, but we won't know what his stance is for blockchain assets that are not state controlled.
What can we expect from G20 2018?
While no one knows for sure except for legislators and those in charge of upcoming policy proposals, it's safe to say that the G20 summit will lead to at least some new laws or rules about cryptocurrency and how it is handled, perhaps for tax purposes.
Following the launch of Bitcoin futures in the United States, France seems geared up to launch its own futures listing for Bitcoin on its local Rofex exchange sometime in the near future.
The United States, another G20 member, has been attempting to pursue tax evaders by trying to get a list of high rollers from Coinbase. China has shut down all domestic exchanges and banned all ICO activity. It is entirely possible that we could see these kinds of actions come out of newly formed G20 legistlation early next year.
The next G20 meeting will occur in Argentina this April.
Featured Image via Fotolia
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.