No country, except for Russia, has explicitly said that it doesn’t want bitcoin. Until France, that is.
A major right-wing political party has recently taken an aggressive stance towards virtually currency, announcing that it wants to ban all forms of cryptocurrency—including bitcoin—in the European country, should it get into power.
In a note published in late May, the Front National political party declared that virtual currencies should be considered a “serious threat” to the country’s “real economy.” Front National leader Marine Le Pen, who is expected to run in the 2017 French presidential election, accused world leaders and Wall Street power brokers of positioning bitcoin to create a world devoid of cash.
She wrote: “The powerful business lobby Wall Street banks (JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs)… sold two ideas to states and institutions like the EU: virtual currencies or cryptocurrencies (the best known is the bitcoin and a cashless society.”
Member of the Parliament Bernard Monot, who helped write the statement, told French media digital currencies—which came as “a result of capitalism running on its last legs”—are putting the traditional financial systems at risk.
“Overthrowing the financial ecosystem is not the right way forward. Cryptocurrencies are an incentive for consumers to empty their bank accounts out of fear for negative interest rates,” Monot said, according to French national paper Le Figaro.
Monot said virtual currencies are not meant to pay for a baguette—only to be played with, just like Monopoly money.
Currently, bitcoin is basking under the warm reception of many European countries, especially now that the European Union is considering revising the existing EU payments laws “in light of the new possibilities afforded by the new technological developments.” The Front National’s announcement might be the proverbial rain on digital currency’s parade—though the news shouldn’t come as a surprise particularly if we take into account the 2015 Paris attack in which hackers claimed the terrorists used bitcoin to fund the operation.
That being said, there’s still some time left before the 2017 French presidential election. Still plenty of time for the Front National to change its mind.
Meanwhile, the price of bitcoin continues to its upward trend this week, hitting $581.88 on Wednesday with about 15.63 million bitcoins in circulation.