France Bans Anonymous Cryptocurrency Transactions

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Wed, 12/09/2020 - 19:25
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Alex Dovbnya
Finance minister Bruno Le Maire has published a decree that forces crypto exchanges to implement KYC for all transactions
France Bans Anonymous Cryptocurrency Transactions
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Finance minister Bruno Le Maire has published a decree that introduces draconian know-your-customer (KYC) rules for local cryptocurrency businesses.       

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Image by @BrunoLeMaire

It was presented to the Council of Ministers earlier today by Le Maire together with overseas minister Sebastien Lecornu and public accounts minister Olivier Dussopt.   

New regulations will put an end to anonymity, forcing exchanges, including crypto-to-crypto ones, to require government identification (ID) from their users for transactions of any size.       

Those strict measures were introduced to prevent terrorism financing through cryptocurrencies, which is a particularly sensitive topic in France following a new wave of terror attacks in October.    

In October, Le Maire took aim at crypto for facilitating money laundering and other crimes:

“We do not question the reliability and traceability of all blockchain technologies. But some cryptocurrencies could be used to facilitate fraudulent transactions (drugs, weapons, money laundering) anonymously.”

Yet, the decree mentions that the government is “fully aware” of the fact that digital assets ("crypto-assets") present “important opportunities” for the country’s economy.

Related
Crypto Disruption: French Central Bank to Start Testing Its Own Cryptocurrency in 2020

France is not alone

French exchanges only account for a drop in the bucket of the global trading volumes. Aside from delivering a blow to the local crypto industry, the crackdown will hardly have any palpable implications for the rest of the world.    

However, other countries are also ready to rein in the industry. In fact, the decree shared by Le Maire recalls a recent G7 meeting where ministers and governors displayed strong support for cryptocurrency regulations.

U.S. Secretary Steven Mnuchin is rumored to come up with stringent rules for self-hosted crypto wallets. 

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About the author

Alex Dovbnya (aka AlexMorris) is a cryptocurrency expert, trader and journalist with extensive experience of covering everything related to the burgeoning industry — from price analysis to Blockchain disruption. Alex authored more than 1,000 stories for U.Today, CryptoComes and other fintech media outlets. He’s particularly interested in regulatory trends around the globe that are shaping the future of digital assets, can be contacted at alex.dovbnya@u.today.

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