One of the most notable talking points in the crypto space in 2020 has been privacy, as a number of countries are looking for ways to enhance their tracking ability in regard to digital currencies, which can be helpful in demystifying the space. A similar hardline approach has been taken by France, as the country is trying to eliminate the anonymity that’s associated with crypto transactions. Earlier this week, a number of French ministries had collaborated for issuing an order that would ban all anonymous crypto accounts within the country. A number of top policy bigwigs were in support of the order, including the overseas minister Sebastien Lecornu, junior economy minister Olivier Dussopt and finance minister, Bruno Le Maire.
The ministers explained in the document that cryptocurrencies can offer a number of benefits for the country’s economy. However, even though the importance of these assets was understood by the government, it was also quite familiar with the increasing risks, especially the use of cryptocurrencies in illicit activities. The Action Plan for Business Growth and Transformation (PACTE) law has an Article 203, which dictates that the government should step in for regulating this market. Therefore, the French government is making preparations to introduce new legislation for applying digital identification to crypto-based transactions and virtual asset service providers.
According to the document, the request was made by actors in the ecosystem and it will be helpful in facilitating user identification and dealing with anonymous transactions conducted in digital assets. The ministers also said that a number of global authorities, which include the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the G7, have advocated for putting a stop to illegal activities based on cryptocurrencies. Hence, while the regulatory measures taken by the government will address areas, such as anonymity, they hope that digital assets will remain attractive.
The press release drove the point home by drawing attention towards a recent crackdown, which had helped in unearthing a terrorist financing ring that had bankrolled its operations with the help of Bitcoin coupon codes. According to a report by France24, a network of affiliates had been busted by the police for sending money to a jihadist group in Syria. The report disclosed that there were 29 individuals who were supporting the work of a terror organization known as Hayat Tahir Al-Sham since 2019, which had strong links with Al Queda. LeMaire tweeted that the new regulations would be a step in the right direction, as they will help in improving surveillance and eliminating terrorist activities from the country.
This move adds France to the list of countries that are trying to eliminate the anonymity of crypto industries. Last month, a ban had been announced by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) in South Korea, on the use of privacy coins like Monero and Zcash, which will be applicable from next year in March. The agency explained in the announcement that tracking these coins had been difficult and the best way to reduce criminal activities within the country was to place a ban.