French Guiana and Cryptocurrency

French Guiana Cryptocurrency Laws
Regulation of Digital Currencies: Cryptocurrency, Bitcoins, Blockchain Technology

French Guiana is a French territory, governed by the provisions of the French constitution as a territorial collectivity of France and, as such, forms an integral part of the French Republic. Therefore, its current cryptocurrency regime is regulated under French legislation. [1]

Digital Currency – Blockchains

In May 2019, France issued regulations regarding Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and intermediaries providing crypto-asset services under its PACTE law n° 2019-486. The regulation’s goal is to attract meritorious projects to its territory while also bringing this ecosystem within the ambit of regulation. Besides complying with EU Fifth Anti-Money Laundering-Directive (AML-Directive), France also imposed additional regulatory duties on intermediaries. In this respect, it has provided a degree of regulation for such intermediaries inspired by the MiFID II obligations for financial services:

  • Optional “Visa” for ICOs: ICO issuers may apply for a “visa” from the French Financial Markets Regulator (AMF) in return for filing an information document, providing clear, transparent, and not misleading communications to the public, and complying with anti-money laundering (AML) duties. They are not obliged to do so, however, such a visa gives an issuer access to a bank account and allows them to solicit investment.
  • Regulation of Intermediaries:
    • Mandatory Registration: custodian wallet providers and crypto/fiat exchange service providers are subject to a mandatory AML registration. Also, they need to comply with a set of rules, which among others, include provisions in respect of anti-money laundering.
    • Optional License: all intermediaries including platforms and investment advisers may apply for an optional license. As result, they will need to comply with AML duties and other regulatory requirements, depending on the activity carried on. It should not be forgotten that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) revised its guidelines in October 2018 to recommend the registration and licensing of all intermediaries in the crypto ecosystem in order to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. [2]

France’s cryptocurrency regulation – rules applied under the French Guiana territory –  is both easy to understand and not overbearing because the country wanted to become a pioneer in welcoming the new technologies to the nation in advance.

[1] French Guiana. (June 2, 2021), https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/French_Guiana

[2] France: Regulation of Crypto-assets, Intermediaries and Initial Coin Offerings in France. (Feb. 24, 2020), https://globalcompliancenews.com/france-regulation-of-crypto-assets-intermediaries-and-initial-coin-offerings-s-in-france/

P.S. Insights on Cryptocurrency Legal Issues

Most jurisdictions and authorities have yet to enact laws governing cryptocurrencies, meaning that, for most countries, the legality of crypto mining remains unclear.

Under the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), crypto miners are considered money transmitters, so they may be subject to the laws that govern that activity. In Israel, for instance, crypto mining is treated as a business and is subject to corporate income tax. In India and elsewhere, regulatory uncertainty persists, although Canada and the United States are relatively friendly to crypto mining.

However, apart from jurisdictions that have specifically banned cryptocurrency-related activities, very few countries prohibit crypto mining.

Our Freeman Law Cryptocurrency Law Resource page provides a summary of the legal status of cryptocurrency for each country across the globe with statutory or regulatory provisions governing cryptocurrency.  The globe below provides links to country-by-country summaries:

Podcast:

The Freeman Law Project – Cryptocurrency Regulation and Taxation: A Brief Primer

Is cryptocurrency legal in  French Guiana?

Do you have questions about cryptocurrency, digital currencies, or blockchain technology? Freeman Law can help with digital currencies, tax planning, and tax compliance.  Contact us now to schedule a consultation or call (214) 984-3410 to discuss your cryptocurrency and blockchain technology concerns.

 

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