French market players react to news that newly-elected President, Emmanuel Macron, might promote wider adoption of Bitcoin among the people
French cryptocurrency market players are looking forward to Macron’s possible policy regarding Bitcoin adoption. While he himself hasn’t stated his position clearly, many experts know him as a very pro-tech president, and believe he will support new-startups of the cryptocurrency industry.
Coinidol conducted a survey of cryptocurrency experts in France to find out what kind of changes they expect from their new President and his policy.
Romain Lafforgue, co-founder at Etherlab.io, a lab building decentralized applications based on Ethereum in the field of shipping, transportation, and governance in France, stated that Macron “is already promoting bitcoin. Macron has led a cryptocurrency event in the french parliament and asked the bank to make a public mini bonds to help little companies to finance their business”.
Diego Martin-Adan, Head of Mobile and Europe Operations at BitWage, a platform providing solutions for workers looking for remote work and to optionally receive their wages in Bitcoin, added to support this opinion:
“Macron seems committed to bring innovative companies to France, especially now that London is seeing brain and capital flight. There is a lot of innovation around Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency space, so we might see an influx of companies move to France”.
Jonathan Klein, President at Tresorio, a Blockchain Mining and Trading Company in France, also thinks “the new President clearly understands the power of the blockchain technology.”
Last year, while working as the Minister of Economy, he passed a bill to authorize what could become a blockchain mini-bond market. Inside the Macron Leaks, there are several files suggesting that there are crypto-enthusiasts inside his inner circle. And, as a former banker and technophile, he could promote the use of cryptocurrencies in France.
Klein further stated to Coinidol:
“Otherwise, I don't think it will happen anytime soon. France is a country where the State has a lot of control. The fiscal evasion is considered as a major crime and the war on cash is visible. Some people have tried to implement Bitcoin ATMs but it was systematically banned. The reason invoked was the risk of money laundering.
During his campaign, Emmanuel Macron also stated that the government should have the cryptographic keys of messaging app like Signal to fight terrorism.
The influence of the ECB inside the Eurosystem is important too. I don't think that they will take the risk to put the money monopoly in jeopardy.”
Jean-Marc Fisz, Senior Consultant - Retail Business Intelligence and Blockchain at Mi9 Retail, a provider of enterprise retail merchandising, business intelligence, e-commerce and customer-centric software, also thinks “Macron will push for more blockchain adoption and start-ups, but bitcoin might have another treatment depending on how banks will react with the increasing usage.”
Tatiana Rozoum, a regulatory expert working in the crypto market in France, UK and Switzerland, and a former Anti-Money Laundering, Counter Terrorism Financing Department – Legal counsel at the French Prudential Supervisory Authority ( ACPR), states that “Macron not only knows what blockchain is, but already have been involved in the legislation on using blockchain for “mini-bonds” or “les bons de caisse”.”
“Very specific, but very financing focused. To issue this legislation, you need to have a clear understanding of the blockchain characteristics, while the rest of the French politics stayed at the idea of the bitcoin money linked to the criminal activities online.
It’s a positive sign for the crypto market from France in terms of external investment opportunities especially at the moment where France needs to breath the innovation to enhance its economy. Moreover, the French crypto market is at the maturing step with multiple blockchain innovative applications and first French ICOs (eg. Beyond the Void).
Finally, the effective impact is going to be made by the Financial regulators which are supervising its impact on the regulated economy by applying the existing regulation as far as blockchain applications has a link within fiat money, deposits or investments… and at some point, it always does.”
Jean-Baptiste Dezard, an expert in decentralized autonomous organisations, smart contracts and shared ledgers, and Marketing Director at Deloitte France, a world-class auditing and consulting firm in France, and former marketing director at IBM France, stated to Coinidol:
"The following is a personal opinion and does not reflect my employer's (Deloitte).
Knowing the local market, I think there will not be restrictions on Bitcoin, and no promotion either. There will be surveillance. On the contrary I believe the Macron government will be liberal with blockchain related innovation. Actually remember Macron knows George Osborne, the former chancellor, who organised "sandboxing" experiments with the FCA. So I would expect to see advanced support on identity/KYC systems and blockchain experiments beyond financial services.
The result of this election is undoubtedly the most positive we could get for the expansion of blockchain related innovation.”
It seems France has been divided into two camps as for opinions to Macron’s election influence on Bitcoin and Blockchain adoption. And the other camp seems to be far less optimistic about the new President’s future plans for Bitcoin.
No one thinks Bitcoin’s prospects in France are grave, but some experts state Marcon might not be too eager to promote cryptocurrency adoption.
Jérôme de Tychey, Economist, senior consultant and blockchain expert at EY Paris Experience Lab, a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services, has the opinion that “Emmanuel Macron will certainly not push for a massive adoption of Bitcoin as a currency.”
“France has very serious issues with taxes and closing the State’s budget. The Ministry of Finance - where Macron has worked before and was even the Minister in charge during the last presidency - is very well concerned about bitcoin as a tax evasion asset.
That being said there is currently a public consultation on blockchain technology and interests have arisen on blockchain as a mean of improving self sovereign identity and data management.”
Xavier Lavayssière, co-director of Blockfest, blockchain technologies festival, Core tech at DAISEE, a decentralized energy solution, based on a blockchain, Core tech at TwinFlowers, an artistic project using a blockchain to finance sculptures, and former Deputy Attaché for Science and Technology at Embassy of France in the United States, told Coinidol:
“Macron signed an order to allow the use of blockchain for small treasury bonds. Nevertheless, during the campaign he had a controversial line about cryptography ( for communication).”
Rémi Foult, Lead Developer - Blockchain at Deloitte in France, believes that “the fact that Mr Macron held a Ledger Bitcoin hardware wallet at a Frenchtech event doesn't tell us anything about whether his government is going accept Bitcoin or not.”
Laura Ballo, a specialist responsible for Blockchain study at " The Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations", a government agency of France to support economic development in support of the public policies implemented by the State and local government bodies, “does not see any declaration specifically on the subject during Macron’s présidential campaign for the moment.”
She further added to Coinidol:
“However, during his former mandate as economic Minister he proposed the 'loi Macron' in which he overhauled the 'bon de caisse' regime and introduced a new one call 'minibons' which is a kind of financial obligation and should be managed on a distributed ledger.
Moreover, by reinforcing cooperation the European Union, I think this will also provide opportunity to experiment more at the European level on the subject, so I am rather optimistic from my part.
It will take a little time for people to adopt Bitcoin, but more and more people know about the technology (a year ago for instance nobody knew about it...).”
Christopher Keo, CEO & Co-Founder at BUSY Foundation, a Decentralized and Distributed Social Network Platform enabled by the Steem Blockchain, expressed the opinion “Macron is interested in blockchain, but mainly for financial services purpose and working with Goldmann sachs, Rothschild & more... He will not allow bitcoin or cryptocurrencies to compete with their system.”
Yann Le Floch, Blockchain Business Architect at BNP Paribas Corporate and Institutional Banking, a global financial partner offering a wide range of tailored solutions in Capital Markets, Securities Services, Financing, Treasury and Advisory Services, stated to Coinidol:
"Macron. seems to be a pragmatic actor and thinker. So we should consider that he will defend entropic creation of CryptoMoneys, SmartMoney, SmartPayment for startups and traditional institution. The way he defended client data sharing of traditional institutions for fintech could be a clue which should support this way. Now the key question we could have is which kind of crypto markets, he could support, libertarian or institutionnel crypto, Private or public crypto, global & local crypto, smart crypto with micro economic or macro economic impact, smart payment even for FIAT Euro. Will he Study the potentiality we have to create new economic models via crypto parameter economy... Even us in crypto world we have all our answers to this questions. So if he is who he could be, a "great monarch", he will disrupt deeply our economic world…”
Clément Lesaege, a Computer Scientist in Blockchain and Machine Learning, and a Pirate Party candidate for the French parliament, believes that, “for the cryptocurrencies, Emmanuel Macron election over Marine Lepen is a good news as Lepen wants to ban cryptocurrencies.
“On one hand Macron could see cryptocurrencies as innovations and he is really in fond of startup and entrepreneurship (he wants to make France the Startup-Nation). On the other hand Macron had taken stances advocating weakening cryptography saying it is used by terrorists. Due to hostile reactions, he seems to have changed his mind. Let's hope he won't change his mind again!”
Quentin de Beauchesne, Blockchain Expert, and Co-Founder of Ledgys, a company that accompanies start-ups, SMEs and large groups in transforming their business with the blockchain, stated:
“Macron has already promoted private blockchains, but we don't know yet if he will support public blockchains and bitcoin.”
Some experts, however, believe Bitcoin does not need to be promoted. For example, Romain E. Zanolli, Researcher of the laws of money at Université Paris Descartes, states that “Bitcoin is doing fine on itself. Trading is legal. Blockchain is already a legal concept and should be soon implemented for financial trading.”
While there are some disputes around the possible adoption of Bitcoin as a currency, it seems obvious there will be further adoption of Blockchain as a technology, both in the FinTech sector and elsewhere.
For example, Christophe Ozcan, CEO & Co-founder at Crypto4All, a company founded to provide technical and compliance consulting, trainings and payment solutions in Blockchain technology in France, told Coinidol:
“I'm involved in France in many subject related to Blockchain. I was yesterday to the European parliament to assist on STOA Spotlight Blockchain Conference. I'm also a member of ISO TC307 as
I'm convinced that France will adopt Blockchain for many use cases due to the huge potential of this technology (traceability, integrity and many others).
As you know, cryptocurrency is impacting the traditional financial services sector (payment, crowdfunding, hedge fund...), that's why many FinTech statrups have their projects based on Blockchain. The challenge will be to prevent imposing the same reglementation rules upon young French startups in order not to stop innovation.”