France’s government is making a serious commitment to the future of blockchain technology. Finance minister Bruno Le Maire recently spoke at the Paris Blockchain Conference, as well as giving an interview where he mentioned the state’s investments of around 4.5 billion EUR in the upcoming years.
Le Maire gave an interview to TrustNodes ahead of his speech at the conference. According to the minister, the French government has “identified more than 200 innovative blockchain projects developed in France”, after a nationwidde call for proposals. The investment promised will be rolled out gradually over the next five years, in an effort to make the country a global leader in blockchain, competing with “the Chinese and American technological giants”.
Le Maire also talked about the country’s increasingly crypto-friendly stance in terms of regulations. The Pact Act has created a new legal framework for companies issuing tokens. France’s 2019 Finance Act saw a new ruling on capital gains tax concerning crypto-assets. The tax rate was lowered from 36% to 30%, hopefully encouraging more crypto-based projects to develop in the nation.
Germany’s central bank chief is not alarmed by Facebook Libra
- Germany’s central bank chief, Jens Weidmann, believes that Libra must answer all the questions before they go ahead.
- He feels that if Libra delivers on its purposes, then it can be “attractive to consumers.”
The president of Germany’s central bank and European Central Bank policymaker, Jens Weidmann has stated that he is in favor of Facebook’s Libra. As per Reuters, Weidmann said at a G7 meeting:
“There’s no reason to be alarmed but there’s reason to be vigilant.”
Weidmann also said that Facebook should only go ahead with Libra after answering all the questions posed to them. Facebook’s blockchain lead, David Marcus, recently revealed to U.S. senators and congressional representatives, that Libra will go ahead only after it has satisfactorily addressed all regulatory and ethical concerns. Weidmann also believes that if Libra delivers on all its promises, then it can be “attractive to consumers.”
Someone Is Trying to Trademark ‘Samsung Coin.’ It’s Not Samsung
Someone in South Korea appears to be trying to take advantage of Samsung’s blockchain efforts by nabbing the “Samsung Coin” trademark.
According to filings with the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), an application to register the trademark in both English and Korean was submitted on July 10 by an individual called Kim Nam-jin.
The filing was made under categories related to computer programs, such as “downloadable electronic money computer program,” “electronic money card,” “electronic encryption device,” and “IC card with electronic money function.”
However, when contacted, a Samsung representative told CoinDesk that the tech giant was not behind the application.
“We don’t work this way,” they said.
While the trademark application does not specifically state whether it’s related to blockchain or cryptocurrency, the filing follows CoinDesk’s previous report that Samsung is developing its own blockchain using ethereum tech, and may eventually issue its own cryptocurrency, possibly called “Samsung Coin.”
In a possible clue as to their motivation for the filing, the same individual has previously tried to lodge trademarks relating to cryptocurrency work by other major technology companies.
The KIPO database shows that Kim Nam-jin also filed an application on July 10 seeking to trademark “ThinQ Wallet.”
However, on July 2, LG Electronics, also based in South Korea, filed trademark applications both in South Korea and in the U.S. for “ThinQ Wallet.”
Based on the LG application details, the wallet would provide a variety of mobile services including “software platform for blockchain” and “mobile electronic wallet for cryptocurrency.”
The “Samsung Coin” filing was initially covered by a few news sources that incorrectly indicated Samsung is applying for the trademark.
CoinDesk Korea’s Shinjae Yoo assisted with reporting.
WATCH: A FinTech Lawyer Breaks Down Libra’s Legality
Joel Telpner, Chair of Fintech and Blockchain Practice Group at Sullivan & Worcester LLP, isn’t surprised that Facebook is getting a grilling on Capitol Hill. In fact, he’s pleased.
“These are attacks on Facebook itself that really has nothing to do with crypto has nothing to with Libra it’s just Facebook being bad boys you know [they’re] concerned about [their] privacy policies,” he said.
His point, quite simply, is that any scrutiny of crypto in DC is vital.
“Parts of the hearing so far where they’ve actually been able to get into conversations about Libra and about crypto have been interesting because on that side of it you’ve seen some Senators that have been skeptical,” he said. “But overall it’s kind of it’s been encouraging to hear some of the senators talking about ‘Hey, this is a good thing.’”
Telpner joined CoinDesk editor Pete Rizzo in a wide-ranging conversation about the legality of Libra and, in the end, what Facebook and the Government will have to do to come to terms with the future of crypto.
You can read our complete Libra coverage here and watch our CoinDesk LIVE interviews here.