Senat france bitcoin exchange
Philippe Marini, president of the committee on finance of senat france bitcoin exchange French Senate, and Mr. Philippe Marini, president of the committee on finance. A few months ago, we asked for a number of comparisons with other countries, since virtual currencies undeniably require an international approach. On 15 th Januarythe committee on finance of the Senate held a joint public hearing on the development senat france bitcoin exchange virtual currencies, and among them the well-know bitcoin.
The Treasury, the Customs, the Banque de France and the anti-money laundering service Tracfin were given the chance to expose their positions, as well as an entrepreneur and a scholar working on the subject. As agreed upon, we then sent a questionnaire to the administration and to the economic services of our embassies. Many things have changed in the last six months: On 11 th Julythe minister of finance and public accounts, Michel Sapin, eventually made a series of announcements based on all this work.
The interest of the committee on finance for virtual currencies should not surprise anyone: As a matter of fact, the digital revolution leaves pretty much nothing unchanged. Senat france bitcoin exchange are, in the first place, important consequences for our taxation systems: Beyond taxation, the digital revolution has turned upside down a number of economic sectors: With the development of virtual currencies, something even more important is at stake: The bitcoin is the most famous and most successful example of virtual currencies; it is a free, anonymous and decentralized payment system, which allows the exchange of goods and services without using traditional currencies.
Strictly speaking, though, the bitcoin is not a legal tender for payments, and is not issued in exchange for lawful money.
It has no legal status. It is only a support for transactions. It is not possible, though, to disregard this new trend on the grounds that it might just be another short-lived buzz.
More and more e-commerce businesses accept bitcoins for payments, including the payment system PayPal itself. Such a success builds on real advantages. However, it must be said that an "honest" estimation should include the cost of computer equipment and power supply, as well as the cost of risk associated with the volatility of the bitcoin and its insurance.
We are well aware that this system carries important risks. These risks have been known from the start, but appeared very clearly in the last few months, and led senat france bitcoin exchange authorities to issue a number of senat france bitcoin exchange warnings.
Firstly, the bitcoin suffers from its very important volatility: The system entirely relies on the trust people place into it Moreover, if bitcoin transactions are very secure, the same does not apply to bitcoin storage. Gox on 18 th February shows that hacking is more than just a possibility.
Of course, people can still chose to store their bitcoins at home, on a personal hard drive. That's what James Howell did, after buying 7, bitcoins senat france bitcoin exchange just a few pounds sterling in Most importantly, the fact that bitcoin transactions are anonymous makes the system a big opportunity for cybercrime and money laundering.
On the 15 th January public hearing, we were told that the Customs had arrested a drug trafficker who asked for senat france bitcoin exchange in bitcoins.
Of course, the website The Silk Roadthe biggest online shopping center for drug dealers and weapon seekers, was shut down by the FBI at the end of But senat france bitcoin exchange the website does not eliminate the risk: However, those risks should not be overestimated senat france bitcoin exchange even if regulators such as the Banque de France and Tracfin are just doing their job when calling for increased vigilance.
For now, the volatility of senat france bitcoin exchange bitcoin and its lack of legal status should limit its development to a small group of initiated persons: Besides, the bitcoin does not represent any threat to the global financial stability, given its negligible money stock, just worth a few billions of dollars, as opposed to several billions of billions of dollars for main international currencies.
In short, today, the bitcoin seems to be more like a niche speculative asset than a credible alternative to money. And senat france bitcoin exchange for the few Monoprix retail shops that accept bitcoins as a means of payment, this is probably not much more than an advertising campaign The most important point is that focusing exclusively on the risks leads to ignoring the multiple opportunities opened by the development of virtual currencies.
The fact that an innovation questions our traditional conceptions should not lead us to reject it automatically. Besides, this rejection would likely remain very theoretical, since it is not possible to prevent individuals to use online exchange platforms As an alternative to legal currencies, the bitcoin is just beginning to unveil its potential.
Those with a far-reaching senat france bitcoin exchange are already thinking about credit offers or crowdfunding systems based on virtual currencies. I personally hold strong reserves about these ideas, but senat france bitcoin exchange undeniably deserve to be analyzed - and further developments could make them more interesting.
So, if it is possible to validate transactions, why not use this protocol to validate other things, such as passwords, identity documents, degrees and certificates, and even electronic votes? In the near future, it could become impossible to lie on your graduation - and that would be a great improvement.
As for electronic votes, this may be an opportunity to improve senat france bitcoin exchange voting system for the French citizens living abroad, which as been under criticism for its lack of security The decentralized validation protocol is an improvement of cryptography: Although the bitcoin has acquired an important position, there are other virtual currencies - there were others yesterday, such as Liberty Reserve or e-Goldand there will be others tomorrow.
It is therefore extremely important for public authorities and regulators to understand the full extent of their development, to be proactive, and to step in whenever it appears necessary. At that time, the development of credit cards was causing a widespread suspicion among specialists, who saw it as an extremely risky system that was not deemed to have any great future.
Even though bitcoin might not exactly be the same subject, it's interesting to note that we always face, at first, a global environment of fear and suspicion towards this kind of innovations.
While we do not understand every single aspect of this subject yet, the need for regulation is already here. It is uneasy to give a legal answer to a phenomenon that challenges both our geographical borders and intellectual categories.
Nevertheless, regulation is absolutely necessary, in order to secure users and investors, senat france bitcoin exchange to prevent abuses which would otherwise undermine the credibility of the whole system. The president talked about the closing of websites such as The Silk Road and the senat france bitcoin exchange of platforms such as Mt. I would add to the list an event that took place in France: Luckily, as the public hearing held on 15 th January demonstrated, some private bitcoin -related businesses are calling for a regulatory framework.
Unsurprisingly, they ask for maximum flexibility, whereas public authorities push for more control. Here's what is at stake: I am pleased senat france bitcoin exchange say that France reacted promptly to set up a regulatory framework. Ten days ago, Michel Sapin, the minister of finance and public accounts, announced several measures based on the work conducted at the initiative of our committee:.
A clarification of the tax regime of virtual currencies. As a consequence, losses will be deductible under certain conditions. A limitation of anonymity. Exchange platforms should be required to identify individuals when senat france bitcoin exchange to an account opening, a cash withdrawal or deposit, and a transaction.
A discussion has been launched on this topic, which is particularly complex since it has to see with the very principles of the system. A cap on payments in virtual currencies, as it already exists for cash payments. In both cases, the reason is senat france bitcoin exchange compensate for the senat france bitcoin exchange of transactions. For example, the exchange platform Bitcoin-central operated by Senat france bitcoin exchange holds an agreement from the ACPR, as its founder explained on the public hearing in January.
Providers of payment services must respect a number of prudential ratios and anti-money laundering regulations. How do French positions compare to those adopted by other countries? We have sent a questionnaire to the economical services of our embassies, and another one to the ministry of finance.
The answers constitute an original work that will help understand and take upcoming decisions, especially at the European level.
Although all countries are facing the same questions, all do not come up with the same answers - this could be worrying as regards to the transnational nature of virtual currencies. In this international benchmark, France is situated halfway between the most regulatory jurisdictions and the most liberal ones:. As for the legal definition of virtual senat france bitcoin exchange, France has not been more successful than most other countries in establishing an official definition. The governor of the Chinese central bank made a parallel between bitcoins and senat france bitcoin exchange collections Many countries have been keener to tax virtual senat france bitcoin exchange than to define them - yet tax regimes remain very different.
Virtual currency gains are liable for income tax in China, just like online gaming gains; they are taxed as real estate gains in Germany and as capital gains in the United States. Germany, the United Kingdom and other jurisdictions also chose to collect VAT on virtual currencies, but they are still looking for an effective way to do it In Japan, tax payers are kindly invited to declare their transactions in bitcoins. As for the regulation of transactions and exchange platforms, most authorities issued official warnings about the risks taken by users of virtual currencies, and the risks of money laundering and terrorism financing.
However, not all countries decided to take regulatory actions in consequence - in fact, most of them tend to think, like Japan, that regulation equals legitimation, and therefore promotion. As for innovation, the United States, Canada and Israel are, unsurprisingly, among the most welcoming countries.
Start-ups and business angels thrive while public authorities remain in a largely benevolent laissez-faire attitude. In Cyprus, the University of Nicosia accepts bitcoins for the payment of tuitions fees - although it seems few students have actually taken the plunge. That said, France has no reason to be ashamed when it comes to innovation: In short, there are three ways to face the development of virtual currencies.
The anxious way, chosen by most regulators - it is their job to foresee risks and prevent crises. And senat france bitcoin exchange optimistic way, chosen by those who believe that bitcoin will change transactions the same way e-mail changed traditional mailing, and the same way Internet changed traditional publishing. It is important to reassure the skeptical and the anxious, without discouraging the optimistic.
As a consequence, we make the following proposals. Public authorities should keep working and analyzing senat france bitcoin exchange the long term the development of virtual currencies. They should keep informing users and other stakeholders about the risks associated with virtual currencies, but also about the rights and protections they have.
They should work on an adapted regulatory framework. All these actions are to be undertaken at the European level in order senat france bitcoin exchange be senat france bitcoin exchange effective. As in past revolutions brought along by digital technologies, France and Europe have opportunities to take.
If we want to succeed together, we must support innovation and, at the same time, keep an eye on it to avoid taking the wrong way.
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