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France’s AMF president announces support for mandatory crypto licensing


The head of France’s Financial Markets Authority (AMF) has advocated for a rapid move to stricter regulations, according to a Bloomberg report on Jan. 9.

The AMF’s President Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani reportedly wants mandatory licensing rules for crypto companies to be introduced in France before comparable regulations come into effect across Europe at a later date.

Barbat-Layani further endorsed the rules by stating:

[Mandatory licensing] is inspired by what is usually done in the more traditional financial sector, and, as it happens, offers several more significant and detailed elements for the protection of investors.

She also called the new policy the “best guarantee” for protecting crypto investors. More broadly, she said that the AMF will remain open to financial innovation and suggested that recent events will not hamper this goal — noting that FTX’s downfall “should not doom digital finance.”

Currently, crypto firms in France do not need to obtain a full license from the AMF. Instead, they can obtain lighter registration from the regulator. To date, all French crypto companies — including Binance, which began to operate in the country in 2021 — have opted for lighter registration.

Barbat-Layani is not the only French official advocating the elimination of that lighter system. Last week, Bank of France governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau suggested that France should implement mandatory licensing imminently.

Prior to that, Senate member Hervé Maurey proposed an amendment to French law that would remove the light registration option in favor of stricter licensing.

Full licensing could become mandatory by October depending on the outcome of a bill that is being discussed by lawmakers this month, Bloomberg says.

If French lawmakers do not successfully implement stricter licensing rules in the near future, those rules should come into effect in 2026.

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