France's financial regulator, the French Financial Markets Authority (AMF), is exploring a "fast track" option for licensed crypto companies to adhere to the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) laws set to be introduced across the European Union (EU). The AMF has released a statement that welcomes the approval of MiCA and clarifies how French regulation will work over the next 18 months. During this time, the AMF will guide French providers of digital asset services (PSANs) in transitioning to MiCA regulation. The AMF is currently considering various "fast track" options to hasten the approval process for crypto firms so that they can become compliant with MiCA regulations as soon as possible. It is looking to address concerns such as fund provision regulations, conflict of interest policies, and the alignment of required documents under both AMF and MiCA regulation.
The MiCA regulatory package was approved by the European Parliament on April 20 to establish a clear and consistent regulatory framework for crypto assets in EU member states. It now awaits approval from the European Council in July before becoming an official regulation. The regulation is tentatively scheduled to come into effect from the beginning of 2025. In France, crypto firms have two licensing options: a "simple" option with relaxed requirements, and a more stringent "enhanced" option. All 60 crypto companies registered with the AMF in France are currently regulated under the relaxed option and will remain so until they are transitioned to MiCA regulation. The stricter option has stricter controls relating to anti-money laundering rules, customer asset custody, reporting to regulators, and providing detailed risk and conflict of interest disclosures to strengthen consumer protection.
The AMF has stated previously that any crypto firm that registers after January 2024 will have to opt for the more stringent option. Moreover, any company regulated under either option will only be allowed to offer services in France until they are transitioned to MiCA. Once approved under MiCA regulation, service providers will have access to the European passport and can provide their services in all EU countries. The crypto industry has welcomed the AMF's proposed transitions to MiCA rules. However, the implementation of fast-track options to ensure a seamless transition for crypto firms in France as they prepare to comply with MiCA regulations is still in progress.
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