French Parliamentarians Advocate For A €500M Investment In Blockchain Technology
The French government is said to be considering an investment of 500 million euros into the country’s blockchain industry, with the funds’ use spread across three years to 2022.
According to a local French news outlet Les Echos, Members of Parliament have urged the government not to repeat the mistakes made during the early days of the internet.
The MPs are advocating for the redeployment of hundreds of millions of euros into various blockchain projects with the primary goal being to make France a “blockchain nation.”
Jean-Michel Mis, the co-rapporteur of the recommendations given to authorities. He noted that “2018 was year zero of the popularization of blockchain in France.”
Mis said that France needs to ‘arrow’ the 500 million euros, which will come from the country’s National Research Agency and Public Investment Bank (Bpifrance), into projects that will make 2019 a year for the development of blockchain ecosystem.
Government urged to “take the lead”
Laure de La Raudière, a co-rapporteur on the blockchain initiative echoed the above sentiments, saying that France needs “to take the lead this time,” regarding developments within the blockchain sector.
However, Les Echos suggests that the 500 million euros estimate being sought for blockchain pales in comparison to the 1.5 billion euros earmarked for artificial intelligence (AI).In March, President Emmanuel Macron announced that the money would be used to drive France’s AI programs.
But Jean-Michel Mis argued that blockchain development in the country was “clearly behind AI,” although the issue of how much money was poured into the sector wasn’t important at the moment.
According to him, what’s important is to have the appropriate support systems and infrastructure for blockchain development.
The lawmakers’ report recommends that the central government take the lead in launching blockchain projects, although that should be done via appropriate consultations with companies and other stakeholders.
Central bank to issue a digital currency
The report by the parliamentarians also wants to see the country’s central bank create and issue a national “digital currency.”
de La Raudière said that a central bank digital currency (CBDC) would have a “symbolic and practical impact,” because the blockchain industry continues to suffer from “a slightly degraded image” arising from the wild west nature of cryptocurrencies.
The MPs’ report came out days before the National Assembly rejected four amendments to the country’s 2019 Finance Bill. The amendments had essentially looked to have crypto-related taxation measures eased.
Members of Parliament will vote on the report’s recommendations about government investments in blockchain within the first few weeks of 2019.
Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.