France’s Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire has appointed an open Bitcoin critic to head a task force examining cryptocurrency regulation, local source Les Echos reports Monday, Jan. 15.
Jean-Pierre Landau, who called Bitcoin “the tulips of modern times” four years ago, will now head France’s efforts to “better control” its regulatory evolution.
“We want a stable economy,” minister Le Maire told reporters in a session during which he announced Landau’s appointment.
“We cannot allow speculative risk and the possibility of misappropriation [of funds] linked to Bitcoin.”
Despite Landau’s past opposition, Les Echos describes him as “Monsieur Bitcoin,” Mister Bitcoin.
Landau’s tasks will also involve researching how French authorities can stop “tax evasion, money laundering and criminal and terrorist activity financing” using cryptocurrency.
Le Maire himself has become a vocal proponent of legislative improvements for cryptocurrency at an international level in recent months.
In December, he announced his desire for Bitcoin to be a topic of debate at the forthcoming G20 Summit in Argentina scheduled for March.
“There is evidently a risk of speculation. We need to consider and examine this and see how… with all the other G20 members we can regulate Bitcoin,” he told local news network LCI.