While Bruno Le Maire wants to make France the European cryptocurrency “hub”, he will have to contend with the arrival of the new pro-crypto British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
Since Brexit, Paris and London have been in fierce competition to become the European capital of finance. The most developed cryptocurrency ecosystem in the US and London is establishing a solid foundation in France with the rise of cryptocurrencies and growing interest from investors.
Last Monday, the Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire said he wanted to make France the first “European” cryptocurrency hub. He also wants to make France the “base camp” in Europe for cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance (DeFi). But he will face a strong competitor: Rishi Sunak, the new British Prime Minister, who has already shown his support for the crypto ecosystem.
“It’s good for cryptocurrencies”
On Monday, Rishi Sunak became British Prime Minister, succeeding Liz Truss. His appointment was well received by the UK crypto ecosystem. “He is good for cryptocurrencies and the economy in general,” CryptoUK lobby director Ian Taylor told CoinDesk.
Finance Minister under Boris Johnson, said in April he wanted to make the UK the world ‘hub’ for cryptocurrencies, announcing a whole series of measures in this direction.
“My ambition is to make the UK a global hub for cryptocurrency technology and the measures we have outlined today will help ensure that businesses can invest, innovate and grow in our country,” said Rishi.
Stablecoin: a means of payment?
In favor of effective regulation, the latter intends to “trust” the companies of the crypto ecosystem, so as to “invest in the long term”. Among the measures proposed by the British government, a door on stablecoins, cryptocurrencies backed by a fiat currency (euros, dollars, etc.).
“With proper regulation, stablecoins could be a more efficient means of payment and increase consumer choice,” said the UK government, which intends to bring stablecoins into the regulatory field of payments.
The UK government also wants to improve “the competitiveness of the UK tax system to encourage further development of the UK cryptocurrency market”. It is in this sense that it wants to focus on decentralized finance (DeFi) loans “treated for tax purposes”
“Extensive power over the cryptocurrency industry”
If the government’s cryptocurrency law is passed, “it could give local regulators extensive power over the cryptocurrency industry, starting with the introduction of cryptocurrencies linked to assets such as stablecoins.” Application of payment regulations “, underlines CoinDesk.
Cryptocurrencies as regulated financial products
On Tuesday, British lawmakers voted to recognize cryptocurrencies as regulated financial products in the country, one of the amendments proposed by MP Andrew Griffith to the bill.
“The Treasury will consult with industry and stakeholders on its approach before using the powers to ensure that the framework reflects the unique benefits and risks posed by the cryptocurrency business,” the latter said.
Before taking effect, the bill will still have to go through the House of Lords and the Upper House of Parliament, then through a final review followed by approval by King Charles III.
As of today, while the MiCa (Market in Crypto Assets) regulation is expected to provide a framework for Europe from 2024, the UK is a long way from adopting such regulations. In 2019 the UK regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), released a report on cryptocurrencies, considering that while cryptocurrency companies could fall under the regulation of payment services, tokens should not be regulated in any way by the their part.
From the statements of Rishi Sunak, the cryptographic ecosystem suffered cryptographic crashes that have reshuffled the cards, not only in the stablecoin sector, but also weakening some now bankrupt companies, such as Celsius and Nuri. The first crypto ecosystem speech as Prime Minister will be closely followed by the British crypto ecosystem, but also by France.