France mulls fast-tracking registered crypto firms to new EU rules

A “fast track” option for licensed crypto firms in France to get regulated under the upcoming Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) laws has been mulled by the country’s financial regulator.

In a statement published on April 21, the French Financial Markets Authority (AMF) welcomed the approval of MiCA and outlined how French regulation will proceed during the transitory period over the next 18 months.

A key focus for the AMF will be guiding the switch over to MiCA regulation for French providers of digital asset services (PSANs).

The AMF stated that it is currently weighing up “fast track” options for these firms so that they can be compliant with MiCA regulations as soon as possible.

A French and English translated version of AMF’s tweet on April 24, 12:30 pm UTC sharing its statement on proposed transitions to MiCA rules. Source: Twitter

In terms of MiCA compliance, the AMF is looking to plug the gap relating to aspects such as fund provision regulations of crypto firms, conflict of interest policies and the alignment of requested documents required under AMF and MiCA regulation.

To the general pleasure of the crypto industry, the European Parliament voted in favor of passing the MiCA regulatory package on April 20.

Moving forward, MiCA now needs approval from the European Council in July to be officially adopted as regulation.

The regulation is tentatively slated to come into effect from the start of 2025 and aims to establish a clear and consistent regulatory framework for crypto assets among the European Union (EU) member states.

In France, crypto firms have two licensing options; a “simple” option offering relaxed requirements, and a more stringent “enhanced” option, which is favored by the government and is reported to be closely aligned with MiCA regulations already.

The stricter option has greater controls surrounding anti-money laundering rules, customer asset custody, reporting to regulators and providing detailed risk and conflict of interest disclosures as a means to strengthen consumer protection.

Related: What’s next for EU’s crypto industry as European Parliament passes MiCA?

All 60 of the AMF-registered crypto firms in France are regulated under the relaxed option and will remain that way until they are ported over to MiCA regulation.

The AMF has previously stated that any crypto firm that registers after January 2024 will have to do so under the more stringent option.

Notably, the AMF also outlined that any company regulated under either category will only be able to offer its services in France until they are ported over to MiCA.

“These actors will be able, during this period, to continue to offer their services to the French public only,” the statement reads, adding that “service providers who are 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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