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French Competition Watchdog Mentions Rapid Development of Crypto Assets

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Anatol Antonovici | May 28, 2020 | 17:30

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French Competition Watchdog Mentions Rapid Development of Crypto Assets

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Anatol Antonovici | May 28, 2020 | 17:30


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The French Competition Authority, called Autorité de la concurrence, is looking for feedback from the public and fintech industry executives on the evolution of the payments industry. The regulator wants to understand the latest developments of blockchain, cloud, cryptocurrencies, digital wallets, and their impact on payments.

Competition Watchdog Notes Rapid Development of Crypto Assets and Blockchain

Last week, the competition regulator launched a survey with a focus on the fintech industry. Specifically, the agency is interested in the impact of innovative technologies like blockhain and cloud on payment services.

The Autorité de la concurrence wants to know how the new players entering the market will interact with traditional banking solutions. The survey will help the watchdog figure out whether blockchain and cloud startups and companies are bringing competition to old-fashioned banking.

The regulator said that technological innovations had changed both the supply side, as crypto and cloud firms offer new possibilities, and the demand side, as more consumer are looking for payment systems that are in line with the latest trends.

The competition authority has mentioned how Apple, Facebook, and Google are entering the payments industry. These giants, along with many startups, are directly challenging banks.

Here Are Some of the Questions

The respondents should submit their answers by June 19. Some of the questions are as follows:

  • What are your views on the arrival of major digital players into the payments sector in France?
  • Do you think major digital players compete with or complement the services offered by banks?
  • What do you think are the impacts of technologies such as “cloud” and “blockchain” on the functioning of the payment services sector?
  • Would you be able to identify competitive issues related to the development of crypto-assets?
  • Would you be able to identify competitive risks linked to the use of blockchain technology by certain players in the sector of new technologies applied to payment activities? If yes, which ones?

Banks Might Lose Their Dominance Indeed

The interest of the French regulator is well-founded, as banking giants might lose dominance in the payments market. With or without Libra, many consumers are already using cryptocurrencies for payments more often than we think, at least according to a recent Visual Objects study.

During the last few months, more crypto and blockchain firms have expanded their offerings to allow users to buy with crypto. Starting from March, Android users can connect their Coinbase card to their Google Pay wallets. Elsewhere, CoinPayments announced a strategic partnership with Shopify last week.

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