France and Germany share a common goal to regulate Bitcoin (BTC/USD) and both countries will be making a joint proposal to that effect at the upcoming G20 summit in March this year.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and his German counterpart Peter Altmaier announced the move at a joint press conference in Paris last Thursday.
“We have the same concerns and we share the goal to regulate Bitcoin,” Le Maire said.
He went on to state that France had formed a working group tasked with proposing regulations for cryptocurrencies and guidelines for preventing their usage in criminal activities such as money laundering, fraud, tax evasion, and terrorism financing. This task force is being headed by the former deputy governor of the Banque de France, Jean-Pierre Landau, and its regulatory suggestions will form the basis of the joint French-German proposal.
“We will have a joint Franco-German analysis of the risks linked to Bitcoin, regulation proposals and these will be submitted as a joint proposal to our G20 counterparts at the G20 summit in Argentina in March,” Le Maire said.
This development comes after Le Maire’s suggestion last year that a discussion be held on “the question of Bitcoin” at the upcoming G20 summit – a proposal which was later backed by the German Finance Ministry.
With their surge in popularity, cryptocurrencies have begun to attract the attention of governments and regulatory bodies around the world. The anonymity, volatility, and speculative nature of the crypto market, which recently underwent a significant correction, have raised concerns and led to increased calls for its regulation.
“We have a responsibility towards our citizens to explain and reduce the risks,” Altmaier said at the joint press conference.
Europe’s drive toward greater cryptocurrency regulation comes at the heels of a similar movement in Asia primarily led by China and South Korea, both of whom have adopted a hardline stance toward Bitcoin and its peers. While China recently clamped down on Bitcoin miners and is contemplating a ban on centralized cryptocurrency trading, South Korea has caused mass market panic with its undecided stance on a possible ban on crypto exchanges.