French Regulator Offers Crypto Companies Fast Track to MiCA

As European countries are searching for the best ways to transit to a new EU crypto regime called MiCA, French Financial Markets Authority offers a fast-track registration for the incumbents

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Crypto firms already registered in France, such as Binance or Bitstamp, may be subject to “possible fast-track modular licensing,” states the country’s Financial Markets Authority (AMF).

On Friday, the European Parliament voted to approve the new crypto licensing regime called Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA).

The new universal regulatory framework obliges crypto-related companies operating in the EU area to obtain a license, as well as comply with strict AML and CFT rules. Another norm stipulated by the rules is the obligation of crypto companies to disclose information about the volume of their energy consumption.

The new rules are expected to become a legal obligation in mid-2024 after a transitional period. However, companies already registered in France can still operate in the country, while they are working on compliance with the stricter European norms.

In fact, France has long started to prepare for MiCA. In the wake of crypto exchange FTX’s collapse, France toughened its crypto registration procedures. The national regulation regime, known as PSAN,  divides companies into two tiers.

While all firms have to complete “simple” registration process, they can also opt for an enhanced authorization which requires more disclosure. The latter is similar to MiCA obligations. Therefore, the firms that had undergone the stricter authorization might expect faster licensing under the new law.

Nevertheless, MiCA includes much tougher governance, consumer-protection and financial-stability rules than the currently effective PSAN so crypto firms will have a long way to go to comply.

At the same time, AMF has welcomed the universal EU licensing regime which “will help to increase the competitiveness of French and European players, by creating a harmonized framework in Europe, and to ensure better protection for investors.”

The regulator would try to ensure its general regulations are adapted to facilitate the transition to MiCA.

Nina Bobro

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Nina is passionate about financial technologies and environmental issues, reporting on the industry news and the most exciting projects that build their offerings around the intersection of fintech and sustainability.