The head of the Finance Committee of France’s National Assembly, Eric Woerth, is suggesting a ban on anonymous cryptocurrencies, or so-called privacy coins. Woerth expressed his position in a recent report on crypto assets and blockchain technology.
Privacy-focused coins have long been controversial in the crypto world, as they have the ability to cloak a user’s identity and are the currency of choice among cybercriminals. It’s still under speculation as to how governments will deal with these types of coins, which have the potential to be used for tax evasion, money laundering, or other illegal purposes.
In the report, the committee’s president Éric Woerth noted the challenges associated with cryptocurrencies for regulators and lawmakers, stating:
“We must be aware of the problems that [cryptocurrencies] can pose in terms of fraud, tax evasion, money laundering or fraud, or energy consumption.”
“It would also have been appropriate to propose a ban on the dissemination and trade in [cryptocurrencies built] to ensure complete anonymity by preventing any identification procedure by design. This is the case for a certain number of [cryptocurrencies] (Monero, PIVX, DeepOnion, Zcash…) whose purpose is to bypass any possibility of identifying the holders. To date, regulation has not gone that far.”
Apart from that, Woerth addresses possible problems associated with cryptocurrencies, including fraud, tax evasion, money laundering, and energy consumption.
In April of last year, Japanese regulators suggested similar measures by preventing cryptocurrency exchanges from trading anonymity-oriented altcoins Dash (DASH) and Monero. “It should be seriously discussed as to whether any registered cryptocurrency exchange should be allowed to use such currencies,” said an unnamed member of the country’s regulator the Financial Services Authority.
In 2017, French President Emmanuel Macron said he would like France to become a “startup nation,” France’s overall stance towards digital currencies remains vague. In November of last year, the country’s central bank refused to endorse a plan that would allow thousands of tobacco kiosks to sell Bitcoin (BTC) starting in January 2019.