3 QUESTIONS TO DOMINIQUE LEGEAIS, PROFESSOR AT THE PARIS-DESCARTES UNIVERSITY, SORBONNE PARIS-CITÉ AND DIRECTOR OF THE CEDAG
They are our clients, our friends, good contacts or just people we met in the crypto-community. They have a new vision, they are running great projects, they are developing new services or they just want to share their story. Havas Blockchain is interviewing key people of the blockchain ecosystem.
We are today with Dominique Legeais, professor at the Paris-Descartes University, Sorbonne Paris-Cité, and director of the CEDAG :
1. Can a cryptocurrency be considered a form of money ?
It is necessary to make the difference between the Economic definition of money and the legal definition. Economists and lawyers have mixed opinions on this point. You can speak of money as soon as it is considered by a community as a mean of payment and if there is trust in the issuer and in the Technology. However, the payment functionality should develop and be less volatile. It could be the achievement of a world currency dream. On the legal side, it cannot be considered as a legal currency: it has not be recognized. Only the Euro is a legal currency according to theCMF. According to the “Pacte Law”, nor is it a currency but a numerical asset. The remaining question is to know if we can admit a currency independent with a State or with Central Banks and which is not anymore a sovereignty prerogative… The question will be solved if the Central Banks decide to have their own crypto-currency, which is already envisaged by some of them.
2. What will be the state of the regulation of ICOs in France after the adoption of the PACTE law in France?
Once the PACTE law has been voted, a distinction has to be made. Some ICOs should be studied by AMF which could grant a Visa to some of them. An information document must be written to give the public any information about the offer and the issuer. AMF will, therefore, check if the issuer gives enough information on the operation, on the possible risks and on the token delivery conditions. The ICOs with a visa will benefit from the right of access to banking services in Credit institutions. Credit institutions have to set objectives and proportionate rules to handle the access of the Tokens issuers which have received a visa Nowadays they don’t have this right and the main operations are performed by foreign banks. Other ICOs won’t be forbidden but will be achieved as now, at the issuer’s risk. At most, they will have to follow “good conduct rules” set by major actors.
3. How are STOs regulated in France?
Security Tokens Offerings (STO) are not recognized as such by the French law. This is an ICOs variety about Security Tokens and not Utilities Tokens. Security Tokens can be considered by some of them as financial securities. They have underlying assets which make them more easily valuable. It seems that two regimes can coexist. Some can be considered as financial securities and are governed by the Prospectus legislation which protects investors. Nowadays, a simplified regime for “the less than 8 Million euros offers” exists. The Ordinance regarding the unlisted securities and allowing registration and transmission via Blockchain can operate. Other security tokens should be able to be submitted to the applicable rules to ICOs, as said in the PACTE law. In any case, actors are submitted to the anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism compliance program.