France Adopts New Crypto Regulations

By Company Registrations Worldwide, 24th May 2019

France’s cryptocurrency regulations were established in May 2019 when the French government accepted the Pacte bill. The bill establishes a legal framework for cryptocurrency regulations and governs digital asset service providers and initial coin offerings (ICO). The bill covers optional and mandatory licensing obligations as well as the types of funds that can invest in crypto assets.

Pacte Bill Adopted

The final draft of the Action Plan for Business Growth and Transformation (Pacte) law was adopted on April 11 following a final review by the French Parliament. The Financial Markets Authority in France, Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), published details of the new bill on Monday 13th May 2019. The newly adopted bill will regulate the crypto industry in France and establish a legal framework for digital asset service providers and initial coin offerings (ICOs). The legislation establishes the AMF as the regulator of the crypto industry in France.

Optional Licensing for Digital asset Providers

The Pacte bill gives crypto and digital asset service providers the option to be licensed under the regulation of the AMF. These providers include crypto custodial services, bitcoin exchange operators, and brokers or dealers who facilitate bitcoin trading either with other digital assets or for purchase against legal tender. This also includes anyone providing additional cryptocurrency related services such as remittance, asset management, advisory, and underwriting.

While it is optional to obtain a license, service providers engaging in digital asset purchasing/selling in exchange for legal tender are obligated to register with the AMF.

Legal Framework for ICOs

The Pacte gives ICO issuers the option to apply for approval under the AMF, however, ICO issuers must be a registered company or other legal entity in France and are required to provide information about the token, the project, and the company. Entities must also have anti-money laundering (AML) measures and a system to monitor and safeguard the assets collected during a sale/exchange.

Previously, tokens were not classified as financial instruments and fundraising through the issuing of tokens was not subject to specific rules. While the raising of funds without AMF approval will continue to be legal in France, issuers who have not received approval of the AMF will not be permitted to sell or advertise to the general public. The AMF will publish a list of ICOs that have received approval. The AMF also have the power to publish a blacklist of providers that do not comply with France’s cryptocurrency regulations and may block access to fraudulent websites offering crypto services.

How to register a French Cryptocurrency Company

If you are interested in becoming a digital asset service provider in France, you will need to register a French company. While it is optional to apply for cryptocurrency licencing and approval from the AMF it is strongly recommended. Obtaining the appropriate licence and approval will give your company credibility and allow it to trade with the public. The AMF has regulatory powers to oversee approved ICOs and licensed crypto service providers as well as the authority to sanction any entities who are not compliant with France’s cryptocurrency regulations.

Company Registrations WorldWide can assist you to register a French Cryptocurrency Company so that it is eligible to apply for cryptocurrency licensing obligations. If you would like to know more about how you can partake in cryptocurrency trading and digital asset services in France or other jurisdictions, please Contact Us today to find out more or call +353 1 6874518 to speak with one of our agents.