French Regulator Allows Crypto Firms to Apply for Licenses

Asia Blockchain Review
January 8, 2020

The Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) or Financial Markets Authority in France announced it now allows crypto firms to apply for non-mandatory licenses to provide digital asset services in the country.

Regulating Digital Assets in France

According to Coindesk, the AMF has released new rules on licenses for digital asset service providers (DASPs). Moreover, it has published guidelines for companies applying for the license including details on recommended internal cybersecurity practices.

The recently-published rules and guidelines have been released in line with the PACTE law in France, which was among the first few crypto legislative packages passed in Europe. 

The French regulator stated that for each DASP applying for the license, the firm is required to submit several documents to the AMF such as a two-year business plan, a list of digital assets that the company will offer services for, and the firm’s organizational structure. 

Meanwhile, to be granted a license, DASPs must possess professional indemnity insurance, reliable IT systems, a claims handling procedure and an internal control system, among other requirements set by the AMF.

Keeping Tabs on Crypto Firms

Though the license is not mandatory for crypto firms in France, the French regulator has requested that firms providing crypto-to-fiat or fiat-to-crypto services register with the AMF as a precaution against money laundering and terrorist financing activities.

Hubert de Vauplane, a partner at law firm Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, said the initiative is the first time the French regulator has issued clear guidelines for crypto firms.

“To the best of my knowledge it’s the first time we’ve seen precisely how a custodian has to maintain the key to assets on blockchain, and what is the role and liability of the custodian,” de Vauplane said. 


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