The lower house of the French parliament, Assemblée Nationale, gave a positive response to the bill by which the taxation rate for gains in Bitcoin is going to be substantially lowered to 30% from the current 36% and more.
The move was initiated by the ex-minister of labor, solidarity and civil service, now finance committee chairman of the Assemblée Nationale, Éric Woerth, and it will bring Bitcoin-based gains down in line with other capital gains taxes, which stand at 30% flat.
Until now, gains earned by trading Bitcoin were taxed more than 36%, which presented a heavy burden for all supporters and users of the new financial technology.
The support of Le Maire
Already famous French minister of finance Bruno Le Maire has publically expressed his affirmative opinion about the blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies by saying that he wants to develop France as the main incubator for blockchain-based startups in Europe.
Le Maire is not alone. French treasury official Sebastien Raspiller stated that he recognizes blockchain as a leading branch of technological innovation, especially in the financial sector.
Le Maire didn’t just stick with words, but he launched a real economic plan whose aim is to nurture the development of “liberated companies that are better funded, more innovative and fairer.”
The Action Plan for business growth and transformation
Step by step, Le Maire’s initiative transformed into a real legal framework proposition.
On September 25, 2018, the Assemblée Nationale started a debate about that legal proposal which was focused on putting in place a completely changed legal framework for cryptocurrencies and ICOs, named Plan d’Action pour la Croissance et la Transformation des Entreprises (PACTE).
Translated in English, Action Plan for Business Growth and Transformation is envisioned to bring France closer to European countries which already have a favorable set of crypto-regulations, such as Malta, Switzerland, or Lichtenstein.
The PACTE bill, besides the new terminology used for naming various aspects of crypto-related business, brought the idea of special ICO quality certificates, which would serve as confirmations of the startup’s legitimacy.
However, if PACTE passes successfully through complicated parliament procedure, these certificates will only be voluntary, as those startups who would want to be “approved” by the government would have to present themselves transparently to the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), the French Financial Market Authority, and prove their case.
In order to acquire such a certificate, a startup would need to disclose “exact, clear, not misleading information, and allow understanding of risks involved in the offering.”
Jusqu’à présent la fiscalité des gains tirés de la cession de crytpoactifs était dans le grand flou. Ce matin la commission des finances a adopté un de mes amendements visant à les soumettre au PFU à 30% pour plus de clarté #PLF2019 #FinancesAN
— Eric Woerth (@ericwoerth) November 7, 2018
Regulations main topic at Blockchain Day in Paris
As another sign of the French ICO revolution, the first Blockchain Day conference was held in Paris on October 10, 2018. It was opened by the French politician specialized in the field of crypto-regulations, Pierre Person.
Person talked about the need of the French fintech industry to get closer to those who already started to draw in cryptocurrency businesses.
It is also important to notice that the same conference hosted a prominent Maltese legal expert, Dr. Ian Gauci, currently appointed as a strategic advisor the government of Malta on the National Blockchain Strategy Taskforce, who shared his experience in order to assist with the integration of crypto-related businesses into the French economy.
Looking back at everything, we can see that France decided to embrace the blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, and spearhead the technological evolution in the European Union.
Lowering taxes, and putting in place a clear regulatory framework is a great base to build upon, and we could surely see some exciting new cryptocurrency startups start incubating in France in the near future.