French Presidential Hopeful Calls for Bitcoin Ban

The head of a major far-right political party in France has called for ending the use of bitcoin and other digital currencies in the European country.

In a note published last last month, Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front and its expected candidate in the 2017 French presidential election, accused world leaders of seeking to create a world with no cash and positioned bitcoin as an effort fueled by Wall Street power brokers.

Le Pen wrote:

“The powerful business lobby Wall Street banks (JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs) relayed by the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2016, sold two ideas to states and institutions like the EU: virtual currencies or cryptocurrencies (the best known is the bitcoin) and a cashless society.”

Le Pen went on to write that her party believes that a currency is a “national public good, given [to] the sovereign people”, and that the digitization of money will result in broader financial monitoring by the world’s governments.

“Therefore, in the context of the implementation of its model of economic patriotism, [the National Front] will prevent the use of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin in France,” she wrote.

Whether the National Front, which maintains a small presence in the country’s legislature, could enact this policy goal remains to be seen.

Recent polls suggest that the National Front could capture a significant number of votes in the presidential election, with the first round set for April of next year followed by a run-off in May among the top two candidates.

Le Pen is expected to face off against sitting French president Francois Hollande as well as Nicolas Sarkozy, the former president of France who was unseated by Hollande in 2012.

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