Meanwhile, existing crypto service firms can continue operating as usual.
French lawmakers have voted in favor of stricter crypto regulations in the country. The bill, as proposed by Senator Hervé Maurey, sought to restrict crypto companies in France from operating without a full license.
In January, the Bank of France Governor, Francois Villeroy de Galhau, also showed support for the bill. While speaking to members of the financial sector, Galhau noted that France did not need to wait for the EU. He cited the cryptocurrency market turmoil as his reason and called for obligatory licensing.
Before this new bill, France allowed a two-tier registration. Companies could either complete a simple registration with L’Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) or opt for a full license.
So far, sixty crypto service providers, including Binance and Crypto.com, have completed the simple registration. Of the sixty crypto service providers, none have opted for full licensing. This was what Senator Maurey hoped to change.
The New Bill as Amended
While the initial proposal for stricter crypto regulations was rejected, the lawmakers eliminated the two-tier system. Consequently, while the simple registration will be enough for existing crypto firms, new market entrants must pursue full licensing.
If passed into law, cryptocurrency service providers in France will need to follow stricter anti-money laundering rules, segregate customer funds from operational costs and show proof, follow the new guidelines on reporting, and improve consumer protection by providing more risk disclosures.
With the bill passed by the Senate, the final decision now lies with President Emmanuel Macron. President Macron has fifteen days to either sign the bill into law or reject it.
Stricter Crypto Regulation to End with MiCA
Meanwhile, existing crypto service firms can continue operating as usual. These companies will not need to make any changes to their operation until the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) bill takes force. MiCA which was first introduced in 2020 passed in October. The bill will pass into law after a final vote by the EU.
So far, this has proved elusive as the final vote on the bill has been postponed twice by the EU. However, a final vote may occur by April. Should the outcome of the vote be favorable, the regulation may come into force as early as 2024 or until 2026.