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France Mulls Fast-tracking Registered Crypto Firms to New EU Rules

The country’s financial regulator is considering a “fast track” option for licensed crypto businesses in France to be regulated under the impending Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) rules.

The French Financial Markets Authority (AMF) welcomed MiCA’s approval in a statement issued on April 21 and described how French regulation will proceed over the transition phase of the following 18 months.

The AMF will be heavily involved in guiding the transition to MiCA regulation for French providers of digital asset services (PSANs). The AMF added that it is currently considering “fast track” options for these companies in order for them to comply with MiCA laws as soon as feasible.

In terms of MiCA compliance, the AMF is attempting to bridge the gap in areas such as crypto company fund provision restrictions, conflict of interest policies, and the alignment of requested documentation necessary under AMF and MiCA regulation.

On April 20, the European Parliament voted in favor of enacting the MiCA regulatory package, much to the delight of the crypto industry. MiCA now needs approval from the European Council in July before it can be officially enacted as a rule.

The law is tentatively scheduled to go into effect in early 2025, with the goal of establishing a clear and consistent regulatory framework for crypto assets among European Union (EU) member states.

In France, crypto businesses have two licensing options: a “simple” option with eased criteria and a more stringent “enhanced” option, which is preferred by the government and is said to be already closely linked with MiCA laws.

To increase consumer protection, the stricter alternative contains tighter controls around anti-money laundering rules, customer asset custody, reporting to regulators, and giving extensive risk and conflict of interest disclosures.

All 60 AMF-registered crypto companies in France are subject to the relaxed option and will stay so until they are transferred to MiCA regulation. The AMF has already stated that any cryptocurrency firm registering after January 2024 will be required to do so under the more severe option.

Notably, the AMF stated that any company regulated under either category will be permitted to sell its services solely in France until it is moved over to MiCA. “These actors will be able to continue to offer their services to the French public only during this period,” the statement says, adding that “service providers approved under the MiCA regulation will be able to benefit from the European passport and provide their services in all EU countries.”


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