The Assemblée Nationale (the French parliament’s lower house) is starting a debate about PACTE, which is an Action Plan for Business Growth and Transformation introduced by the Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire. It recommends changes to the regulatory framework for with regard to crypto assets and ICOs, together with many proposals aimed at sustaining the development of “liberated companies that are better funded, more innovative and fairer.”
The PACTE plan would bring France closer to being more blockchain-friendly and to bridging the gap between France and other countries that have been busy creating an environment that is favourable to fintech and blockchain investment.
A new definition of ICOs
One of the most interesting elements of the plan is its ideas for a new definition of tokens and ICOs. France has lagged behind other jurisdictions in launching ICOs and few companies have opted to set up there when compared with Gibraltar or Singapore. The latter had ICOs with funds raised valued at $340 million compared with $78.4 million for France. Although when you look at the figures for Germany ($6.35 million), France isn’t doing so badly.
The new legal scheme would introduce a definition for entities such as tokens, which aredescribed in the law as “immaterial items, representing in digital form one or more rights, which could be issued, compiled, kept and transferred through a digital shared instrument, allowing to identify — directly or indirectly — its owner.” ICOs are described as “a public offer for tokens subscription, in whatever form.”
This is the latest in France’s cautious steps towards a “French digital revolution” So, is France ready to lead Europe toward the new paradigm of the blockchain economy, effectively competing against Switzerland, Malta and Gibraltar? It could be that having ‘taken a moment’ and hung back while others raced forward, may give France the advantage of having observed how things have proceeded elsewhere, and help the decision makers to avoid too big claims, thus enabling them to match the regulations with the real needs of the blockchain.