During this week’s G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, France’s minister of Finance Bruno Le Maire highlighted the importance bitcoin and cryptocurrencies may have in the world’s economy. Le Maire pointed out that France, along with Germany, called for cryptocurrencies to placed on G20’s agenda.
The minister revealed that France will start working on cryptocurrency regulations before the rest of the world, in a bid to put Europe at the forefront of the digital economy. As covered, G20 has called for cryptocurrency regulation recommendations by July this year, seemingly confirming rumblings of a crackdown on cryptocurrencies are out of the picture.
Le Maire, like most of the world’s leaders, added that cryptocurrencies may be used in illicit activities, but noted that he “firmly believes this technology is very positive for every country.” For that to happen, however, “we need to have regulations, and Europe will lead the process.”
According to a report published by Brazilian news outlet Criptomoedas Fácil, the minister didn’t rule out the possibility of seeing central banks issue their own cryptocurrencies – an idea that’s been entertained by central bankers throughout the world. If these come, he implied, they will come after the sector is regulated.
Le Maire notably pointed out he believes financial technology is crucial for the “market to develop in the best possible way.” Per his words, cryptocurrencies are a part of said development. He said (roughly translated):
“We agree that crypto-assets can be very interesting for everyone. And we – obviously – are in favor of blockchain technology, which can provide very good support to financial assets in Europe or anywhere in the world. We are in favor of these technologies, but we want these technologies to be secure and therefore we need to define very clear measures for their regulation. “
The French minister’s words seemingly echo those of Spain’s economy minister Román Escolano Olivares, who at G20 stated that he doesn’t see cryptocurrencies as a threat to the global financial system, and revealed the European Union will not wait for a global agreement to regulate cryptos.
Le Maire announced a cryptocurrency task force earlier this year, chaired by a former central banker. At the time, he stated:
“We want a stable economy: we reject the risks of speculation and the possible financial diversions linked to bitcoin. I have just entrusted Jean-Pierre Landau, former deputy governor of the Banque de France, with a mission on cryptocurrencies.”