France has amended its registration requirements for crypto firms to better align with the European Union's new regulations for the sector, the country's financial regulator AMF announced on Thursday.
Countries in the EU are preparing to implement the recently finalized Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation for digital assets and firms looking to serve the single market, set to take effect in the next 12 - 18 months. France, which already has a comprehensive licensing regime for crypto firms pending some changes to comply with MiCA, has been courting companies to register in the country.
The "enhanced" registration requirements are set to take effect from Jan. 1, 2024, and will be mandatory for "new players" looking to provide any regulated services, the AMF said. The changes will also "allow a fast track procedure to be implemented towards" authorization for firms that have already been operating in the country with approval.
"As a reminder, DASPs that obtained a simple registration before Jan. 1, 2024 benefit from a "grandfather" clause and continue to be subject to the framework applicable before this date," the regulator said.
Modified provisions of the AMF General Regulation for digital asset service providers cover "security and internal control systems, systems for managing conflicts of interest, clear, accurate and non-misleading information, public pricing policies, specific custody provisions (segregation of client assets vs. own assets)," and bans firms from using client assets without their express prior consent.
The AMF recently awarded its first crypto license to Societe Generale's crypto division. Firms like Binance and Hex Trust are registered with the regulator.
UPDATE (Aug. 10, 09:08 UTC): Adds scope of new requirements in penultimate paragraph.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, institutional digital assets exchange. Bullish group is majority owned by Block.one; both groups have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary, and an editorial committee, chaired by a former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, is being formed to support journalistic integrity.