French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire announced on Sunday December 17th that the next Group of 20 (G20) meeting would include discussion about how to regulate the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, bitcoin. The digital asset hasn’t ceased in making news all year, and European politicians appear more concerned in direct proportion to its price increase, as shown by the EU legislative body urging strict compliance laws upon coin exchanges this week. The G20 establishing regulatory frameworks, however, would spread across the world and have enormous impact.
A G20 Discussion All Together on the Question of Bitcoin
Speaking to La Chaîne Info (LCI), French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire declared: “I am going to propose to the next G20 president, Argentina, that at the G20 summit in April we have a discussion all together on the question of bitcoin.”
The G20 includes central bankers and leaders from 19 countries and the European Union, spanning the entire globe: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States.
“There is evidently a risk of speculation,” Mr. Le Maire continued. “We need to consider and examine this and see how…with all the other G20 members we can regulate bitcoin.”
That bitcoin would make it into the agenda is nothing short of jaw-dropping. G20 nations soak up more than eighty cents on every economic dollar around the world in terms of trade and productivity.
Mr. Le Maire was wrapping his session at the One Planet Summit in Boulogne-Billancourt this week. The week prior, the Finance Minister seemed to welcome bitcoin and its undergirding technology, blockchain. “The use of this new technology will allow fintech firms and other financial actors to develop new ways of trading securities that are faster, cheaper, more transparent and safer,” he said, referencing new rules to allow for trading unlisted securities. These would add “another asset for Paris’ attractiveness as a financial center” he was quoted as saying.
A Delicate Tango
Indeed the Macron government has largely been viewed as neoliberal, reordering France’s clunky and notorious bureaucracies toward less regulation.
The first scheduled calendar meetings at the Argentina G20 in April are of its Development Working Group in Buenos Aires, April 10th, 2018. Priorities announced for the gathering include, “the future of work and what this means for education, infrastructure for development, and a sustainable food future,” its website reads.
In anticipation of the meetings, Argentine President Mauricio Macri explained, “Technology is quickening productivity at an unprecedented rate, which presents both opportunities and challenges. We want to ensure that adopting technological advances does not lead to economic exclusion or other negative side effects.”
Bitcoin investor Tim Draper held a meeting with President Macri and an advisor in late November of this year. By all accounts, Mr. Macri seemed at least receptive to the idea of cryptocurrencies. That same month, the country’s Rofex exchange announced it would be offering bitcoin futures.