On January 24 and 25, the National Assembly is due to consider the bill “on various provisions for approximation to the law of the European Union in the fields of economy, health, employment, transport and ‘agriculture’, which proposes an amendment by Senator Hervé Maurey to make the PSAN license mandatory to be able to offer crypto-assets in France from October 1, 2023. Approval issued by the AMF which has not yet managed to secure any digital asset provider.
The file is closely followed by industry players, fearing that the development of the French cryptocurrency industry will be halted by regulation, which is said to be ahead of European MiCA regulations.
75 million euros exposure
If the French crypto sector tends to feel persecuted by the legislature, there is a public actor whose support is gained: Bpifrance. Admittedly, the action of the public investment bank towards the blockchain sector is unlikely to be covered in its 2022 activity report, due to be presented on February 16, in relation to its priorities, which are to support the industry, the energy transition or other digital innovations. However, it is not negligible. Bpifrance’s direct and indirect exposure to the blockchain sector now totals nearly EUR 75 million.
“Our role is to enable the French ecosystem to be competitive and to create as much value as possible. There is urgency, when we know that funding in the United States has reached almost $40 billion and that ‘in France we have 2 reached ‘. billion since 2015’, explains Ivan de Lastours, Blockchain & crypto lead at Bpifrance. Of the more than 90 start-ups financed in France, Bpifrance has participated in 70% of the operations.
A direct investment in various start-ups
The public investment bank distributed 30 million euros in funding to companies in the sector in the form of grants and loans, invested 10 million euros directly in six start-ups (including Ledger, Acinq, Arianee and Dogami), and nearly 35 million euros in various cryptocurrencies. funds (including those of Ledger-Cathay).
Ivan de Lastours describes the importance for the investment bank to be a fund of funds: “In the United States, pension funds invest in crypto funds, in France they are more family offices and wealthy individuals.”
A fund to invest in tokens?
Bpifrance is also working on an investment fund project dedicated to Web3, which could invest in tokens. For Ivan de Lastours, this is a double mission. “As a bank, it is important for us to learn how to master the workings of these operations; and this would be a way to support companies raising money in tokens, a new class of digital asset. , a financial object that is still not very well identified.”
At this stage, the project does not yet have a fixed timetable. “The topic is delicate because we are in a complicated phase, with fraudulent actors who have discredited cryptocurrencies”. According to him, the sector is not yet at the end of the domino effects of the FTX scandal. Of which Senator Maurey’s famous amendment is just a ripple effect.
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