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The French elections: Implications on crypto, plus global political views (Infographic)

The French elections: Implications on crypto, plus global political views (Infographic)

Last updated 29th Jun 2022
Disclosure
  • French Presidential candidates ignoring crypto in securing youth vote
  • Prominent politicians' opinions on crypto : An infographic
  • Le Pen continues vague stance on crypto agenda

The first round of the French elections exposed a tight raise between incumbent Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen.

International crises like the Russia-Ukraine war and France’s debacle in North Africa along with domestic troubles like rising inflation, immigration, and the high cost of essential commodities have made for frantic campaigns.

Debate on the country's technological advancements, including crypto has taken a back seat— despite a survey by IPOS showing that 8% of the French population owns cryptocurrencies and 30% more plan to invest in this emerging asset class— indicating that the candidates might be missing an essential demographic.

Young adults below the age of 35 are spearheading investment into virtual currencies— a noteworthy point with the battle in the upcoming election focussing on voters between 18 and 35 years.

The survey also suggested that cryptocurrencies could affect the outcome of the elections; bout one in five people (18%) believe cryptocurrency topics will influence the elections.

Macron VS Le Pen: Crypto Policies

In 2019, President Macron called for data technologies like blockchain to enhance agricultural productivity in the European Union. Since then, not much has materialized.

Under Macron’s tenure, the fifth anti-money laundering directive (AMLD5) was passed. The directive seeks to regulate digital assets trading, transfer, and ownership. It also stipulates that cryptocurrency service providers must first be registered before operating in the country.

For the most part, the directives are not too imposing and don’t discourage cryptocurrency investment. The central bank has also experimented broadly with central bank digital currencies (CBDC). However, in an apparent turnaround to one of the core cryptocurrency characteristics, the central bank’s president intimated that the government should have control over crypto assets.

Binance’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao, believes that France is a pro-crypto country. Speaking at a conference in Paris, he said that Macron has a positive attitude towards the nascent cryptocurrency sector. The leading far-right candidate, Le Pen however hasn’t yet made her stance on cryptocurrencies very clear. She has to date focused her campaign on inflation, cost of living, immigration, and security— describing her goals as re-establishing France as a country that looks inwards first. As things stand, digital assets and the underlying technology seem not to be a top priority for the leader and her party.

Global Political Leaders On Cryptocurrency

Administrations globally continue to be inconsistent with policies around blockchain and cryptocurrencies. On one hand, cryptocurrencies threaten old financial standards, while on the other hand, blockchains represent a chance to streamline many industries.

For example, El Salvador currently recognizes Bitcoin as a legal tender, while China, the second-biggest economy globally, has outrightly banned crypto activities within its borders while continuing to develop its own CBDC.

World leaders have held different opinions concerning cryptocurrencies. In an interview on a major news channel, former US President Donald Trump described Bitcoin and cryptocurrency as a “scam” designed to hurt the dollar.

The current US president, Joe Biden however, seems to understand the potential that cryptocurrencies hold. His recent executive order about cryptocurrencies showed a positive approach to digital assets.

Boris Johnson and his administration seem to be sending mixed signals in the UK. In a recent address, Boris stated that the government is open to cryptocurrency businesses. However, the head of the exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has been clamping down on cryptocurrency companies.

In Australia, the prime minister completely believes in crypto. He thinks that it will significantly impact payment systems and standards.

This “pro-crypto vs against crypto” infographic illustrates what prominent leaders think about crypto.

Stephen Ngari

Stephen Ngari

Stephen is a seasoned crypto and fintech specialist with industry experience. Having worked in tech, helping people send money globally and rollout solutions, he understands the impact that tech like blockchain brings to real world issues. He is passionate about crypto, writing and basketball.