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French Central Bank Governor Pushes for Crypto Licensing Ahead of EU Laws

The head of the Bank of France stated that the turmoil in the crypto markets demonstrates the need to implement a mandatory licencing scheme for crypto firms “as soon as possible.”

The governor of the Bank of France has called for more stringent licencing requirements for crypto companies in France, citing the current market turmoil.

Francois Villeroy de Galhau said in a speech in Paris on January 5 that France should not wait for upcoming EU crypto laws to enact mandatory licencing for local digital asset service providers (DASPs).

The European Parliament’s Markets in Crypto Assets bill (MiCA), which provides a crypto-licensing regime, isn’t expected to go into effect until 2024.

Villeroy addressed the country’s financial industry in his speech, according to a Bloomberg report from January 5:

“All the disorder in 2022 feeds a simple belief: it is desirable for France to move to an obligatory licensing of DASP as soon as possible, rather than just registration.”

Currently, crypto businesses that offer crypto trading and custody must be “registered” with the country’s market regulator, the Financial Markets Authority (AMF).

A DASP licence is optional, with those who hold one required to meet a slew of business organisation, conduct, and financing requirements.

Currently, none of the 60 AMF-registered crypto firms are licenced as a DASP.

Villeroy’s call comes after Senate finance commission member Hervé Maurey proposed an amendment in December to remove a clause that allows companies to operate without a licence.

Current French laws allow firms to operate unlicensed until 2026, regardless of whether or not MiCA becomes law and establishes a licencing regime.

The amendment will be debated in Parliament beginning in January.

MiCA has been chugging along in the EU Parliament since September 2020.

The European Parliament Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs approved the crypto framework on October 10, the result of negotiations between the EU Council, the European Commission, and the European Parliament.

The MiCA final plenary vote has been moved from the end of 2022 to February. In November, European Parliament member Stefan Berger told Cointelegraph that the delay was due to “the enormous amount of work for the lawyer linguists, given the length of the legal text.”


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