Crypto Banking Firm BCB Group Secures Digital Asset and Electronic Money License in France

The payments processor has been authorized by France’s financial regulators, the ACPR and the AMF, to act as an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) and Digital Assets Services Provider (DASP).

AccessTimeIconApr 29, 2024 at 1:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 29, 2024 at 1:29 p.m. UTC
  • France will serve as BCB’s regulatory base in Europe.
  • The payments firm has been authorized as an Electronic Money Institution and Digital Assets Services Provider.
  • Jerome Prigent was appointed as MD of BCB Europe in December to drive the company’s expansion into the region.
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  • BCB Group, a payments processor that links crypto firms to the banking system, plans to expand in Europe following regulatory approval in France, the company said in a press release on Monday.

    BCB has been authorized by the ACPR and the AMF, the country’s two primary financial regulators, to act as an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) and Digital Assets Services Provider (DASP), the firm said.

    Companies wishing to issue, manage or provide electronic money in France have to apply to the ACPR for an electronic money institution license. EMI’s can also provide payment services. Similarly, firms providing digital asset services in the country, such as custody or the trading of cryptocurrencies, need a DASP license from the AMF.

    BCB's EMI product is now available to clients, whilst the DASP offering is expected to launch asap subject to AMF confirmation.

    The license wins follow the recent appointment of Jerome Prigent as managing director of BCB Europe in December. He was hired to drive the company’s expansion into the region.

    BCB said France’s clear rules for responsible innovation in fintech and digital assets, and its dynamic banking and financial services ecosystem were behind the company’s decision to choose the country as its European regulatory base.

    Authorization by the country’s regulators will allow BCB to grow its institutional product offering in Europe and further enable the company to collaborate with virtual asset service providers (VASPs), TradFi institutions and other market participants, the company said.

    “This is a game changer for BCB Group, allowing us to expand our footprint into the EEA for the first time since Brexit,” Oliver Tonkin, CEO of BCB Group, said in the release. “We have been very impressed with our engagement with the French regulators, and we look forward to integrating ourselves into the burgeoning blockchain ecosystem in France,” he added.

    This is not the company’s first foray into Europe. BCB abandoned its planned acquisition of Germany’s 100-year-old Sutor Bank last June, more than a year after it was first announced, citing regulatory delays and changing market conditions.

    BCB’s former CEO, Oliver von Landsberg-Sadie, left the firm last November to pursue new opportunities. His departure came just five months after Deputy CEO Noah Sharp exited the business after the failed acquisition of Sutor Bank.

    UPDATE (April 29, 2024, 13:25 UTC): Adds additional detail from BCB.

    Edited by Parikshit Mishra.

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