Jonum: a regulatory framework for experimentation
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Four years after the adoption of the Pacte law introducing the status of digital asset service provider (DASP), France is in the process of finalising a new regulatory framework dedicated to crypto-assets, targeting monetisable digital object games (Jonum) in particular. This regulatory framework is expected to last for three years while the experiment is conducted. Finally, the government will have to submit a report on the subject to Parliament within 18 months.
The development of this legislation is rooted in the emergence of Sorare, whose game has raised many questions from the National Gaming Authority (ANJ), the regulatory body for gambling and games of chance.
For some, notably the industry's longstanding players, Web3 games should be treated like gambling, subject to similar regulation and taxation. Others see them as an emerging sector in which France can position itself as a leader, requiring a specific framework to encourage innovation. It is this latter perspective that has been favoured, although Web3 games are not exempt from regulation.
Three major points of discussion have emerged: measures against addiction and the participation of minors, anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing measures, and taxation. The challenge is to stimulate innovation while ensuring effective protection for users.
The advocates of strict regulation, mainly traditional gambling operators such as casino operators or Française des jeux (FDJ), are very keen to ensure that the Jonums do not exercise unfair competition. However, the FDJ itself has developed "Ultimate Numbers", a game based on NFTs and blockchain, co-created with the Cometh studio and announced for June 2023.
In contrast, voices advocating more flexible legislation are rallying around Adan, the organisation representing Web3 companies, of which Sorare is a member. Their aim is to ensure that the new framework does not hamper innovation and that the obligations placed on players do not undermine their business model. These players nevertheless have some experience in the fight against money laundering.
A third way is represented by traditional gaming players such as Ubisoft. As the latter are not really used to schemes that are supposed to combat money laundering, they are highly critical of the JONUM regime
What is a Jonum?
A game offered via an online public communication service that allows players who have made a financial sacrifice to obtain monetisable digital objects, based on a mechanism involving chance, to the exclusion of any gain in legal tender
What the Jonum regime provides for:
- Age verification device when creating an account
- Identity verification device when withdrawing winnings
- Ban on promoting to influencers if communications take place on online platforms that do not have the option of excluding minors
- No special taxation for companies