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Sunday, Jan 19th

French ICO framework could enrich Africa’s Blockchain ecosystem

French ICO framework could enrich Africa’s Blockchain ecosystem

France recently introduced a legislative-backed framework to regulate the conduct of initial coin offerings (ICOs) and the initiative could be taken up in Africa.

ICOs, a new Blockchain-based mechanism for start-ups to crowdfund by issuing tokens in support of their projects, has gained global momentum, but remains largely unregulated.

In September 2018, France's financial regulatory body, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) adopted Article 26 on ICOs.

The move seeks to help create a system for a license or visa to be granted to operators who want to issue tokens to finance projects or activities (especially in the French market) based on certain rules to protect investors.

The success of the framework and the possibility of an increase in ICOs launched in France, could result in this new mode of finance and investment within the Blockchain ecosystem spread to- and become more popular in parts of Africa - especially among former French colonies.

"Surely, such move will have a positive impact on Francophone African countries which take France as a model to follow," said Morocco-based Blockchain consultant Bellaj Badr. "We have all seen how most Francophone African central banks have adopted the same opinion as the French central bank vis-a-vis cryptocurrency. As the situation is changing there (in France), African countries may review their conservative considerations and take few steps in the same direction."

The Blockchain industry in Africa is growing with several initiatives established and continued interest from both the public and private sectors in utilising the technology for effective data management.

At the Malta Blockchain Summit hosted in mid-September 2018, Global Gaming Africa's John Kamara said that Blockchain is a "huge educational opportunity" for various private sector companies in Africa "to create a whole new revenue and income stream."

Badr, who is also the CTO of MChain, expects to see similar frameworks emerge in Africa soon. "As France and African countries share the same need for innovative startups, I expect the emergence of similar frameworks in African countries after few years to define a legal frame for ICOs as a form of crowdfunding. For instance, in my country Morocco, deep discussions have been started by financial and regulatory authorities to prepare a similar framework."

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