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Introduction to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading in France
France is a strong riser, up from 16 to 8, and looks to have even more potential to move further up the next quarterly rankings. France scores highly in many categories, from government regulation to the positive acceptance of crypto by the financial community. It has a high score for Bitcoin nodes and a very high score for the number and quality of its blockchain organizations. It also scores well for the percentage of ICOs associated with environmental projects. Crypto ownership by a percentage of the population is only average, but this may change.
Many French businessmen and thought leaders want France to be at the forefront of the crypto economy. The central bank is also trialing digital currency. There is plenty of consumer investment activity, with very positive lobbying for blockchain progress.
Early in 2022, France granted a Digital Asset Service Provider (DASP) registration to Binance, allowing it to operate a cryptocurrency exchange, trading, and custodial service. This makes France the first major European country to give regulatory approval to a crypto exchange. France is keen to take a lead in the crypto space, and this move could attract more crypto companies to operate there, although, many things changed following the fallout of FTX. In light of FTX, France has been reconsidering its light touch supervision of exchanges and crypto services providers, with calls from leading politicians to tighten up the regulatory and licensing framework.
At present, whilst France has looked to attract crypto companies, criticism is that the current system allows crypto companies to register in France without going on to gain a full license and thus become operational with minimal checks. Tighter supervision is surely on the way.
However, Binance is, at least for now, now a listed digital asset service provider on the French stock market. It is one of the largest crypto exchanges globally, rated by daily trading volumes, but it is currently banned by US and UK financial services authorities. Source:
Bitcoin financial services in France
Fin services – retirement planning
Investing in crypto and blockchain tech has become increasingly recognized by French financial institutions. However, cryptocurrencies are not generally recommended by consumer pension plans and retirement funds due to risk and volatility. The situation is changing all the time, and some European countries are able to offer some form of crypto retirement fund planning.
Fin services – banking
When it comes to crypto, France has a great deal of consumer lobbying pressure to make changes. Recently, the Banque de France announced a successful trial of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) within TARGET2-Securities (T2S), the European Central Bank settlement platform.
Fin Services – Defi
As above, many institutions and thought leaders see Defi as a way forward that France must take advantage of. The government is receptive to the blockchain, but Defi as a subject is still a patate chaude.
Using Crypto in France
Most stores still don’t accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment, but there are gift card programs that allow you to convert your cryptocurrency into a gift voucher to spend at participating stores. Major crypto exchange Coinbase, for example, launched a feature that lets French customers use crypto to buy gift cards that can be redeemed at over 100 retailers including Uber, Google Play, Nike, Ticketmaster, and fashion brands like Ted Baker and Clarks. Currently, the gift card feature is only open to people in the UK, France, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, and Australia, but Coinbase says it will eventually expand to other places as well.
If you’re feeling generous you can gift crypto, but you are still subject to tax on the gain you have made from it prior to gifting it no matter how or where you store or trade your coins. You can gift it to a recognized charity or non-profit organization, and most French crypto exchanges will be able to advise on gifting your coins.
French regulatory authorities have been generally wary of cryptocurrencies, due to their high volatility but, like other EU countries, are enthusiastic about the underlying blockchain technology. In regard to tax, any profits from the sale of crypto is taxable, and overall value is taken into account when calculating wealth tax.
Cryptocurrencies are broadly considered legal across the European Union, but French crypto exchange regulations depend on individual member states. Regulations may vary by the member state, and by compliance with the European Banking Authority (EBA), European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB), European Insurance & Pension (EIOPA), and European Supervisory Authority for Securities (ESMA). Cryptocurrency taxation also varies, but many member states charge capital gains tax on cryptocurrency-derived profits at rates of 0-50%.
Crypto legislation is continually being debated and assessed but nothing is forthcoming right now.
KYC for bitcoin in France
Crypto exchanges typically request two forms of identity verification; a SEPA transfer accompanied by an identity document. In addition, all exchanges, including those that do not offer fiat trading pairs, will need to register with an administrative body, likely the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), France’s financial markets regulator.
It pays to check your exchange for its longevity and protection against fraud – many have insurance cover which you might like to know about. Claiming a loss through fraud or theft is quite complex as there are so many definitions to comply with, including asset price and circumstances. If your crypto wallet has been stolen, you cannot claim any immediate tax relief, but you should record any losses as you can offset these with any future crypto profits within one year. You’ll also need to make clear whether your losses were part of a trading business or for personal investment purposes. Reputable exchanges carry insurance against fraud or hacking, so in this event, you’re more likely to be claiming some form of compensation from the best crypto exchange in France.
Transparency and anonymity of blockchain transactions
While crypto trading is legal and acceptable in France, the government has taken a series of new measures to combat the anonymity of cryptocurrency transactions. In fact, anonymous accounts are banned and French crypto exchanges have strict identity requirements.
Crypto Facilitation - Banks3
Crypto Services - VASPS3
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Taxes in France
Crypto tax in France
Income tax France
Any individuals who partake in occasional trading must declare all cryptocurrency sales on their yearly tax returns, stating all capital gains they made that year. Individuals and companies who control overseas accounts must also declare all sales on their yearly returns or face fines.
However, if you’re a professional trader (someone who generates most of their income from trading), you’ll be subject to a special crypto tax France regime called the BIC. This assessment will be based on your trade volume and the gains you make.
Okay, take a deep breath, we’re getting technical….when crypto is exchanged for fiat currencies, no VAT is due on the value of the cryptocurrency or fees charged by the intermediary. Charges made over and above the value of the cryptocurrency for arranging or carrying out any transactions in bitcoin, except forex transactions with official currencies, are subject to VAT. Acquiring products or services via cryptocurrency payments is also subject to French VAT. However, the sale of cryptocurrencies is not subject to VAT unless made for the purpose of obtaining income on an ongoing basis. Got that?
As with most countries, holding crypto in your wallet and sitting on it, or transferring it between wallets incurs no tax, but make sure you aren’t getting confused –it’s easy to do – between transferring them, transacting them, or disposing of them.
The French government famously ruled that it was to cut the income of French crypto tax on gains from cryptocurrency sales from 45% to a flat rate of 19%. Isn’t that good news? It ruled that cryptocurrency sales should be considered as capital gains of ‘movable property’ – such as cars or jewels for example and meaning they are eligible for a lower french crypto tax rate than was previously the case.
Crypto sales under 305 € per year are completely tax-exempt and need not be declared.
This change was partly a result of a private case brought about by investors, challenging the tax rates that had been in force relating to the sale of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Tax when moving residency
As with any income, your bitcoin will come under the tax laws of the country where you are legally resident. If you move outside France but are still a resident, make sure you have detailed transaction reports about your purchases and sales across all French crypto exchanges you used. If you set up a business to trade crypto, that business will come under the tax laws of the country it operates from.
French crypto tax on mining
Mining is fantastically complicated and beyond the scope of most individuals. To bring things back to earth, mining for bitcoin or any other cryptocurrencies is, you guessed it, a taxable event. In France, the mining of crypto by individuals is taxed as income, and the taxable amount is the net profit you make on your mined coin. In general, profits from cryptocurrency speculation and mining are treated as industrial and commercial profits subject to the prevailing income tax scale.
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This is not financial advice. Coincub is an independent publisher and comparison service. Its articles, interactive tools and other content are provided to you for free, as self-help tools and for informational purposes only. This space changes rapidly and evolving, so please make sure to do your own research. Although we do our best to provide you the best information, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information on this site or in regard to your individual circumstances.