France introduces KYC compulsory for Bitcoin brokers

Justitia holds in her hand the scales of justice on which two Bitcoin coins hang. The flag of France can be seen in the background.

In a press release from the French Ministry of Finance, the government has revealed stricter KYC regulations for crypto transactions

On December 9, France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire let the crypto cat out of the bag and updated the lawrevealed, which sets stricter know-your-customer regulations for all crypto companies operating in the country, including for peer-to-peer transactions. The revised version of the law could put an end to the anonymity of the French crypto space.

In order to avoid the rude awakening with the tax return in 2021, it is important to realize losses now, secure liquidity, preventively control tax debts and take a close look at the portfolio.

How it works?

From now on, crypto providers will be forced to validate the identities of their users. Anonymous accounts are banned. Cooperation with national secret services and the freezing of assets will also be made mandatory. France cites general security and attractiveness aspects as a reason, above all the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. In the press release, the ministry refers to a recent break-up of a terror network in September, which is said to have used transactions in digital assets. Crypto providers have until mid-2021 to make the necessary adjustments.

France as a prosperous blockchain location

The recently published report by the EU Blockchain Observatory provides a detailed overview of France’s blockchain economy. The country has a considerable number of blockchain start-ups. They are helped by state subsidies such as aid funds. A state fund has already invested almost 300 million euros in infrastructural projects for young companies in the crypto sector. In addition, there are measures to reduce bureaucracy, such as the PACTE law, which removes barriers to founding startups. France is trying to establish the country as a leading hub in the crypto space.

G7 is in favor of crypto regulations

France is now putting comprehensive regulations for the crypto space into force from next year. The country is thus following the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the G7. The finance ministers of the seven most important industrialized nations in the West agreed on Tuesday in favor of regulation. So one could see a press release from the US Treasury Department Inferring that the developing crypto landscape wants to set regulations in order to prevent its use for “malicious purposes and illegal activities”.

5. EU money laundering guidelines as a basis in Germany

With the amendment of the law in France, the government is also following the 5th update of the money laundering guidelines of the European Union, which came into force in January 2020. This directive has also been in force in Germany since the beginning of the year. Since then, crypto providers have been included in the group of obligated parties under the Money Laundering Act in Germany. According to this, for example, credit institutions, insurance companies and now also providers of cryptocurrencies are obliged to keep customers in a transparency register, where proof of identity must be stored. This largely eliminates the anonymity feature that is characteristic of cryptocurrencies, which is now also disappearing in France.