PARIS, France – Crypto firms fleeing US regulatory uncertainty have received a welcome offer in France from officials boasting a relatively predictable regulatory framework.
The European Union member state already boasts about 74 registered cryptocurrency companies, but as a last-round company to try to get ahead of the EU’s cryptocurrency market rules, which were formally approved by ministers earlier Tuesday, That number could skyrocket to 100.
Benoît de Jouvigny, Executive Director of the Financial Markets Authority (AMF), told reporters on Tuesday that “in France, we are the pioneers” of the crypto service asset provider scheme known as PSAN, which was enacted in 2019. I am proud of it,” he said.
“If American players want to benefit from the French government in the very short-term and from early 2025 onwards from the European deal, they will obviously be welcome,” he added. “We have good relations and are in talks with our U.S. counterparts.”
The legal certainty now apparently achieved in France is only recently obtained. In January, lawyers warned that the Senate’s proposed legislative changes (which were ultimately watered down) could kill innovation.
There are also some areas that are still gray. French lawmakers are still weighing what kinds of crypto social media influencers should be able to promote. The EU is still debating how to regulate financial services without a central actor, and Jouvigny said the AMF will produce a document with some ideas in the coming weeks.
But essentially, the legal framework is mostly solidified, in stark contrast to the situation across the Atlantic. In recent weeks, players such as Bittrex and Coinbase have pulled out of the U.S., citing an uncertain regulatory environment caused by active regulatory enforcement and a lack of clear prospects for crypto legislation from Washington. or threaten to withdraw.
France may be predictable and stable, but that’s not the same as being easy or simple.
Seventy-four companies, including Binance and Bitstamp, have already obtained registrations demonstrating basic governance and money laundering compliance. No company has obtained a license yet, but with sufficient capital, companies can take the next step of obtaining a license.
Under the new transitional arrangements agreed earlier this year as a bridge to the MiCA, companies applying as of July will receive an “enhanced” registration, with resilient IT systems and a conflict of interest resolution. You have to prove you have a policy. The MiCA itself, due to come into force in 2025, grants the right to serve the entire European market, expanding its scope to include services such as cryptocurrency investment, advice and portfolio management.
As de Jouvigny himself admits, this web of four different regimes is complex, but officials say some requirements are practically impossible to meet and procedures are unfair. are keen to dispel industry complaints that the
Contrary to some industry concerns, officials say it is indeed possible for cryptocurrency companies to obtain commercial insurance under the AMF standards. “I’ve seen the contract with my own eyes,” Stéphane Pontoiseau, director of market infrastructure and brokerage oversight at the AMF, told reporters.
Those who have studied the AMF’s guidelines and done their homework will find that they can obtain a new qualification in just a few months, Pontoiseau said, adding that those who take longer often have poorly maintained homes.
Pontoiseau said dozens of companies are likely waiting to be registered, and about 100 companies could be at the “starting line” in France before the MiCA goes into full swing. However, some companies may be headquartered in other EU member states or serve only the French market, but cannot seek a full AMF license under EU law.
French rigor may also be a point for others, such as stablecoin issuer Circle, who said it wanted to apply for registration with the AMF and also seek a license.
Together with the ACPR, the arm of the Banque de France, which is responsible for reviewing the money laundering compliance of cryptocurrency companies, “the AMF … has a strong reputation as a leading market regulator that is advanced yet manages risks well. ,” said Circle’s vice president. Policy and Regulatory Strategy Tiana Baker-Taylor told CoinDesk. “It’s not the jurisdiction of the light touch.”
The quote is translated from French.