French regulator welcomes crypto firms escaping US uncertainty

17 May 2023

Crypto firms escaping regulatory uncertainty in the US will be welcomed in France, according to officials.

There are already around 74 registered crypto companies in France, which could increase to 100 as another round of companies seek to anticipate the EU’s Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulations that were officially approved on Tuesday.

“In France, we are proud to be pioneers” with the crypto service asset provider regime, PSAN, that was legislated in 2019, Benoît de Juvigny, Secretary General of the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), stated.

“If American players want to benefit, in the very short term, from the French regime, and from the start of 2025 from European arrangements, clearly they are welcome. We have good relations and discussions with our US counterparts,” he added.

This legal certainty in France has only been recently acquired, CoinDesk reports. At the start of the year, lawyers cautioned that legislative amendments proposed by the national Senate may kill innovation.

However, there are still a number of grey areas. For instance, lawmakers in France are still deciding what crypto social media influencers should be permitted to promote. In addition, the European Union continues to deliberate on ways to regulate financial services with no central entity, and Juvigny said the AMF will publish a paper featuring a series of ideas over the next few weeks.

Although 74 crypto firms have been granted a registration showing basic governance and money-laundering compliance, companies can also look towards obtaining a licence, yet no firm has as yet acquired one. 

Within the new measures put in place this year as a path to MiCA, firms applying from July will have a “reinforced” registration, where they must show a conflict-of-interest policy and strong IT systems. MiCA allows the right to serve the pan-European market and also includes services such as portfolio management, crypto investment and advice, the CoinDesk report adds.