New French Crypto Bill To Enable Authorities Seize Digital Assets
- A new French crypto bill has been presented by leaders, which will give authorities the power to seize digital assets that would belong to suspected criminals.
- President Emmanuel Macron’s government wants to prevent investors in digital assets from laundering their money and aims to work with the UK police on the initiative.
Under a new law proposed by the French government on Wednesday, citizens could face their crypto assets getting frozen if the authorities find suspected illicit activities in their accounts.
The recent proposal reveals that the President Emmanuel Macron-led government wants to follow the lead of the United Kingdom and give the police more authority to seize assets that could potentially be used to escape their control and launder money.
A report displaying some snippets of the government’s draft law reads:
“Too often, criminals convert the fruits of their wrongdoing into crypto assets, which can be more easily dispersed and therefore concealed.”
When granted the go-ahead by a public prosecutor or investigating judge, bank holdings should be seized, according to the government’s proposals.
The report states:
“[Police] agents will be equipped with high-performance and innovative equipment and will benefit from real estate offering renovated working and reception conditions and meeting increased training needs.”
The proposals, which broadly repeat those first put forth in March 2022, would extend to digital assets the same regulations that already govern holdings in traditional bank accounts.
While much of the bill is devoted to online crime, such as requiring ransomware payments to be addressed by the authorities, it also addresses a number of other issues under the jurisdiction of French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, including the formation of 200 new rural police squads and modification in the handling of domestic violence cases.
The measures will be reviewed by the French Senate’s constitutional law committee, which is in charge of assessing amendments to the country’s criminal code, at a meeting the following week.
Notably, French crypto investors face inconsistencies when it comes to regulations. In July, these unclear regulations resulted in the removal of crypto ads in the F1 Race.
Recall that the U.K.’s former prime minister Boris Johnson-led government pledged expanded authority to seize and recover cryptocurrency assets under its May’s Economic Crime Bill. It is interesting to note that newly-elected Prime Minister Liz Truss and his government reaffirmed their dedication to those goals on Wednesday.