French Financial Regulator Supports Faster Mandatory Licensing for Crypto Firms

The Financial Markets Authority joins the country’s central bank and Senate in seeking to anticipate new European Union laws.

AccessTimeIconJan 9, 2023 at 10:37 a.m. UTC
Updated Jan 9, 2023 at 3:56 p.m. UTC

France’s financial markets authority (AMF) wants to force crypto companies to seek a license if they aren’t already registered in the country, its chair Marie-Anne Barbat Layani said on Monday.

Barbat-Layani appeared to be supporting a move proposed last year by the French Senate, which would mandate crypto firms to seek some of regulatory recognition in anticipation of the European Union's new Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation by Oct. 1, 2023.

“The AMF, like the parliament, calls for an accelerated move to a regime of obligatory licensing for non-registered providers” of crypto services, Barbat-Layani said at an event, according to a tweet posted by the regulator.

A number of prominent companies, including Binance, have registered with the AMF. The registration involves checks on companies' governance and compliance with anti-money laundering rules. No provider has yet been issued a license, a voluntary procedure set out under French law.

In an article published for Le Figaro newspaper, France Deputy Central Bank Governor Denis Beau said it would be “desirable” to have mandatory licensing in the country ahead of the European Union’s MiCA law coming into effect in 2024, citing the collapse of stablecoin ecosystem Terra-Luna and crypto exchange FTX. Beau's statement appears to confirm reports that Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau is pushing for the change.

The Senate’s legal amendment to require all unregistered crypto companies operating in the country to seek a license was opposed by the French government, and is set to be discussed by the National Assembly’s Finance Committee next week, Jan. 17.


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Jack Schickler

Jack Schickler was a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.

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