To give operators more time to comply with new regulations across Europe, French lawmakers have eased their stance on crypto licensing in the nation.
Last night, members of the French National Assembly approved an amendment put forth by center-left politician Daniel Labaronne, allowing current cryptocurrency businesses to continue operating without a complete license until the European Union’s historic crypto legislation is implemented.
Right now, crypto companies are subject to a two-tiered system in France. All operators are required to register as crypto asset providers, but they are not required to obtain a full license, which necessitates more thorough disclosure.
Although about 60 providers have registered with the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) overseeing the financial markets, none have chosen full permission. However, if they enter the market in 2024 or later, the amendment mandates that they obtain a complete license.
The parliamentarians rejected an earlier amendment in December by Senator Hervé Maurey and passed the current one instead. According to Maurey’s suggestion, these players would have had to begin the application procedure for full authorization this year.
The action would have hastened France’s adoption of new, stricter regulations for cryptocurrencies that the EU’s Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) is expected to establish, most likely by 2026.
This is a realistic choice intended to strike the proper balance between the blooming of innovation in France and the safe environment for consumers in which it must inevitably take place, according to Faustine Fleuret, President and CEO of French crypto industry group Adan. He continued by saying that it also sends a message to the industry about the high standards of conduct and professionalism expected of the participants in this process of unifying European regulations.
“This is a pragmatic decision aimed at striking the right balance between the flourishing of innovation in France and the safe environment for users in which it must occur. It is also a message to the sector about the exemplary nature and professionalism expected of the players on this path towards harmonization of European regulations.”
FTX’s bankruptcy highlighted the need for investor protection, according to Labaronne, who proposed the most recent amendment. However, he added that more time was needed to put more stringent regulations into place.
Recently, France unveiled plans to launch its own CBDC, contradicting the upcoming Digital Euro. The issue and distribution of tokenized bonds and CBDC will be handled by other projects of the French central bank, such as Project Jura. The Project Jura experiment was run over three days in November 2021 by the central banks of France and Switzerland along with the BIS Innovation Hub. The project looked at how well wholesale CBDCs work and how distributed ledger technology can be used in these kinds of transactions.