Given Europe’s long history with international currency exchange, it’s not surprising that the France’s finance ministry would take a relatively casual attitude to virtual currency taxation. Bitcoin adoption in France, as well as Europe in general, has lagged behind the U.S. and Asia. Although France’s monetary authorities have issued warnings about bitcoin, these have come from a consumer-protection viewpoint rather than a regulation-oriented one. In December, the Bank of France declared that bitcoin and other virtual currencies “cannot be considered” as currencies, as there is no legal obligation for any business or individual to accept them.
The French market for bitcoin is still small, although this does appear to be changing. Last week it was announced that the country’s first bitcoin ATM would open in Paris next month at Le Maison du Bitcoin, and major French retailer Monoprix announced earlier this month that it would be adding bitcoin payments as an option by then end of this yer.