Industry Reports

France’s Financial Watchdog Throws Support Behind Highly-Controversial Initial Coin Offerings

Initial coin offerings (ICOs) has become a booming innovation within the financial sector. In its sense, initial coin offerings or token offerings is a means of fundraising for projects built on blockchain technology. But the release of every new technology causes some perplexity and controversy. Cryptocurrency is among the most discussed topics and every country seems to have a different approach to it. The opponents of the digital payment method fear a wave of unlawful activities and they are reluctant to legalize the use of cryptocurrencies. Some countries, on the other hand, decided to benefit from others’ timidity and outpace them by regulating the use of the digital payments.

France expressed its interest to embrace the new technology and incorporate it into its system. Earlier today, the French financial watchdog the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) officially announced that it is to throw its support behind the ICOs. The authority launched an initiative called the Universal to Research & Network (UNICORN). It aims at studying crowdfunding via cryptocurrencies and blockchains. AMF opened a public consultation period until 22nd December commenting the ICOs’ regulations.

The financial regulator explained that the regulation of the token offerings is to require a number of steps, including announcement and publication of the offering. The final stage is the sale of tokens. It was estimated that the token offerings collected around €1.5 billion from January to September 2017 on an international scale.

The “UNICORN” initiative also aims at shedding more light regarding ICOs technologies, so that the regulators can create an adequate legal framework, without any loopholes in it. France already took an important step towards legalization of the innovative funding and payment technologies. There is still a lot more to be done, but the country seems ready to welcome the new digital payment methods.

Cryptocurrencies within Gambling Industry

The cryptocurrencies have found their place in the global gambling industry. The innovative digital payment methods were welcomed with open arms by the online gambling industry as a form of currency. More and more people around the world started to use the technology, even though it remains unregulated in most of the countries. This means that there is no particular law regarding the use of cryptocurrencies, which makes the use of a digital currency neither legal nor illegal. Being unregulated also means that the cryptocurrencies are non-taxable and the country loses money in tax revenues.

France followed the example of Malta and Japan, which recently announced that they are to adopt the use of the funding technology very soon. Mere days ago, Malta already proposed rules for cryptocurrency investment funds and now it is waiting for a social response. Despite all the allegations that ICOs and cryptocurrencies are to create favorable conditions for money laundering, more and more countries started to thumb up the technology.