December 14th, 2018
Two French legislators have made a number of proposals aimed at turning France into a leading force in the development of the industry built around cryptocurrencies. One of the ideas is to allow crypto mining companies to take advantage of preferential electricity prices.
‘France Must Have Its Own Mining Farms’
As part of a parliamentary mission to explore the implementation of crypto and blockchain technologies in France’s economy, two pro-crypto deputies, Jean-Michel Mis and Laure de La Raudière, have put forward a proposal to recognize mining as an “electro-intensive activity.” That status would allow cryptocurrency miners to pay for the electricity needed for their facilities at preferential rates.
According to Jean-Michel Mis, France should offer mining companies good conditions to operate in the country, French news outlet Cryptonaute reported. He believes that cryptocurrency miners should be well distributed around the world as the concentration of mining power benefits mostly big players in China and the U.S. “We must have our own mining farms here in France,” the French legislator stated, as quoted by Les Échos financial daily.
France relies heavily on cost-efficient nuclear power to satisfy its energy needs. Almost 60 nuclear reactors account for over 70 percent of the total electricity production in the country. According to data compiled by Statista, the electricity rates in France averaged $0.19 per kilowatt hour in 2018, which is cheaper than in many other European nations. In comparison, this year’s prices in Germany have been around $0.33 per kWh.
€500 Million to Build Blockchain Industry
During a presentation of their report this week, the two lawmakers warned that France “shouldn’t miss the blockchain train.” They urged the French government to allocate €500 million ($568 million) to support the development of the industry until 2022. Their idea is to relocate some of the funds managed by the French Public Investment Bank, Bpifrance, and the country’s National Agency for Research, ANR.
“We would like France to get ahead this time,” said Laure de La Raudière, who believes authorities in Paris should develop a state strategy for the whole sector. The two members of the French parliament, whose report contains a total of 20 proposals, also revealed that they have recommended the “testing of a digital currency” issued by either the European Central Bank or the Bank of France.
According to Jean-Michel Mis, 2019 will be the year of blockchain. “This ten-year-old technology is moving out of the experimental stage into industrial implementation. The general public will see the emergence of uses that affect their daily lives,” he said, as quoted by French business weekly La Tribune.
In the past months, France has gradually changed its attitude towards the crypto economy in a positive direction. In September, French lawmakers passed a law setting out guidelines for initial coin offerings (ICOs). A recent report by the country’s financial markets regulator, Autorité des marchés financiers, estimates that the global ICO industry has raised almost $22 billion since 2014. Last month, the finance commission of the National Assembly supported an amendment to the 2019 budget that will cut the capital gains tax on sales of cryptocurrencies from 36.2 to 30 percent.
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