France Moves Ahead With Tighter Crypto Rules for New Entrants
French lawmakers have approved a set of stricter rules for crypto companies, which now only need the approval of President Emmanuel Macron to be signed into law.
Members of the country’s National Assembly voted 109 to 71 to adopt a package of European Union laws, which include an amendment imposing tighter requirements on new players looking to get in on the French crypto market.
But the 60 companies which have opted for the simpler registration under the country’s existing two-tier system will not be affected and will have until Europe-wide regulations come into force.
Under the country’s existing system, companies apply for simple registration with local financial regulator L’Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) to operate, but could also opt for full licensing in a process that requires more disclosure.
None of the firms registered in France have opted for a higher level of licensing.
A compromise solution
An initial proposal by French Senator Hervé Maurey had sought to impose higher standards on all crypto firms in France, including those already registered.
This faced opposition from the industry and other lawmakers, with a compromise eventually being reached that withdraws the option of simple registration for new entrants to the market, but allows existing ones to continue operating until the EU’s landmark crypto regulations are brought into force.
The bloc’s Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) could be passed as soon as April this year, but the rules would likely not come into effect until 2026.
France’s efforts to fashion itself as Europe’s crypto hub have succeeded in enticing the likes of Binance and Crypto.com to set up shop in the country. But the introduction of MiCA, which will unify rules on crypto across the European bloc, could pose a challenge to the country’s big bet on the industry.
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