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France is on the Eve of Strict Licensing Laws for Cryptocurrency Companies

The French National Assembly (FNA) voted for more stringent regulations of licensing for new crypto startups and the need to bring local laws in compliance with proposed European Union (EU) standards.

  • 	<p dir="ltr"><strong>109 deputies voted in favor, or 60.5% of the total presented ones.</strong></p>
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    	<p dir="ltr"><strong>71 people were against it, which is 39.5% of the participants.</strong></p>
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The French Senate has already passed a bill to enact various provisions adapting European Union legislation in the fields of economy, health, labor, transport and agriculture. This bill now comes to the President of the country Emmanuel Macron. He has 15 days to approve it or to send it back to the deputies of FNA.

New guidelines

If approved, the new document would oblige cryptocurrency service providers registered in France to comply with stricter anti-money laundering rules. They must confirm that customer funds are segregated and kept separate from personal company funds, and adhere to new guidelines on reporting to regulators. 

It is also necessary to provide more detailed information on risks and conflicts of interest. All of this is done as a means of increasing protection of the rights and legitimate interests of consumers, including investors.

However, the norms of this regulation will not apply to the 60 crypto startups that have already been registered by the Financial Markets Authority (AMF), which is the nation's financial regulator.

Validity of the rules

These companies must comply with AMF rules until the EU's own crypto regulations come into force with the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) bill.

So the new administrative act will only apply to businesses that will be registered from July.

  • 	<p dir="ltr"><strong>Binance is among the 60 firms registered by AMF. </strong></p>
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This exchange has introduced a pilot project to accept payments in stores in France. It uses Ingenico's cloud-based payment platform through Binance Pay.

The necessity for tightening crypto regulations

The legislative push to tighten licensing regulations was initiated by Hervé Maurey, a member of the French Senate's finance commission. He introduced an amendment in December that repealed the rule allowing cryptocurrency companies to operate without a full license until 2026.

Francois Villeroy de Galhau the governor of Bank of France also made his proposal on January 5 about the need for licensing of digital assets ahead of EU laws in a speech to the financial sector in Paris.

He  said it is impossible to stay on the sidelines and important to respond to the recent turmoil in the cryptocurrency market by passing a tightening bill as soon as possible.

  • 	<p dir="ltr"><strong>MiCA works as the basis for the regulation of digital assets in the EU. </strong></p>
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Villeroy de Galhau believes France should not wait for uniform laws to introduce a licensing regime for digital asset service providers.

Meanwhile, the adoption of MiCA has been delayed. There have already been 2 postponements of the regulation. The EU intends to vote definitively on MiCA regulation in April. If successful, the long-awaited cryptocurrency laws should take force during 2024.

Cryptocurrency becomes more regulated and protected in France and thanks to OWNR Wallet, you can now buy cryptocurrency with your credit/debit card in this country.

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