The French National Assembly has voted to implement stricter licensing rules for new crypto-currency firms to align local laws with proposed European Union (EU) standards.
The bill got 109 votes (60.5%), and opposition of 71 (39.5%). The bill now awaits the approval of President Emmanuel Macron, who has 15 days to either approve it or return it to the legislature.
If adopted, the new law would impose more stringent anti-money laundering requirements, segregation requirements for customer funds, new reporting requirements, and more thorough risk and conflict of interest disclosures to strengthen consumer protection.
However, the legislation would not affect the 60 crypto companies registered with the Financial Markets Authority (AMF), France’s financial regulator.
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Until the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) bill is enacted, these firms will maintain compliance with AMF regulations for crypto operations.
The strict regulations would only apply to crypto firms registering from July onwards. Binance is among the 60-AMF companies which recently began piloting in-store payments in France with the cloud-based payment platform Ingenico through Binance Pay.
Hervé Maurey, a French Senate finance commission member, initiated the push for stricter licensing rules. In December, he proposed an amendment to remove a clause that allowed crypto companies to operate without a full license until 2026.
Bank of France governor, Francois Villeroy de Galhau supported the legislation in a Jan. 5 speech to finance sector members in Paris.
The EU’s Role in Cryptocurrency Market Regulation
While MiCA will probably serve as the model for regulating the cryptocurrency market in the EU. He continued by saying that France needed more specific laws establishing the licensing regime for providers of digital asset services.
After two postponements, the EU is set to vote on the MiCA regulation in April. A successful outcome would see the much-anticipated crypto laws come into force in 2024.
In conclusion, the French National Assembly passed a bill imposing stricter licensing rules on new cryptocurrency firms, regulating the market. The move aims to safeguard consumer protection and harmonize local laws with the proposed EU standards. MiCA will guide EU crypto market regulation, but France leads proactively.
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