Will France ban all privacy-focussed cryptocurrencies?

07 Mar, 2019 | Updated: 07 Mar, 2019
by Joeri Cant
Will France ban all privacy-focussed cryptocurrencies?

According to the president of the Finance Committee of France’s National Assembly, Éric Woerth, it would be appropriate to propose a ban on all cryptocurrencies with a focus on providing greater anonymity to the user. 

According to Forbes, Éric Woerth, the president of the Finance Committee of France’s National Assembly, which put together a report on crypto assets and blockchain technology, claimed that it would be appropriate to propose a ban on activity related to cryptocurrencies built with the goal of providing greater levels of anonymity to users.

'We must be aware of the problems that cryptocurrencies can pose in terms of fraud, tax evasion, money laundering or fraud, or energy consumption', Woerth states in his opening remarks.

'It would also have been appropriate to propose a ban on the dissemination and trade in cryptocurrencies built to ensure complete anonymity by preventing any identification procedure by design', he adds.

Woerth mentions that this is the case for a certain number of cryptocurrencies, like Monero, PIVX, DeepOnion, Zcash, whose purpose it is to bypass any possibility of identifying the traders.

'To date, regulation has not gone that far', Woerth said.

Read more: Is Ethereum at $100,000 really possible?

It is unclear how far Woerth wants to take the proposed ban, and if he indeed want to see these anonymity altcoins banned. It could be that he is referring to a complete ban on the use of these privacy-focussed coins or something less extreme like disallowing exchanges from listing them for trade.

Clearly the president of the Finance Committee of France’s National Assembly doesn't have a positive feel for privacy-focussed cryptocurrencies and their potential connection to criminal activity, and their possibility to hinder law enforcement’s ability to police financial crimes.

However, the report does not take a hostile approach to the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in general.

'The distinction between the different uses of cryptocurrencies must continue', Woerth writes. 'This to establish a finer and more precise regulation protector of the general interest, as well as the private interest of the entrepreneurs of this domain.'

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