Société Générale’s Legal Director Seeks Bitcoin Regulation

Yessi Bello Perez
Sep 15, 2015 at 16:54 UTC
Updated Feb 4, 2019 at 22:16 UTC
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Société Générale’s group legal director has called out for the establishment of an international bitcoin regulatory framework.

In an article co-written by Dominique Bourrinet, group legal director of the French multinational bank; and his colleague Etienne Mauret, the consequences of bitcoin’s undetermined legal status are discussed.

A loosely translated version of the article reads:

“In terms of French law, it [bitcoin] goes into no known category: it is neither a legal tender nor a means of payment – not even an electronic currency – within the meaning of the Monetary and Financial Code. This uncertainty has not prevented the French government from establishing an ad hoc tax system. The question of the application of VAT remains to be decided.”

Despite branding the French authorities’ efforts as “laudable”, the authors continue to outline the need for an international regulatory framework that would quickly supervise this “new money”.

Associated risks

Bourrinet and Mauret go on to warn against the associated risks of using cryptocurrency in the absence of regulation. Bitcoin, they say, offers no guarantee with regards to price or liquidity.

Additional negatives attributed to the digital currency in the article include its use in the purchase of illegal products and the potential for customers to lose funds as a result of “failure or destruction of the computer’s owner or closure of the corresponding storage unit”.

This is not the first time the bank – France’s third largest in terms of assets – has dabbled in the crypto space.

In July this year, Société Générale posted a job advertisement for a bitcoin-focused developer.

Société Générale image via Kiev.Victor / Shutterstock.com

Check out CoinDesk’s listicle to find out which other banking giants are embracing crypto.