Business 27 September 2018Dennis Wafula
France blacklists 21 more websites promoting crypto scams
The French financial market authority, Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), has updated its official blacklist of fraudulent businesses operating in the country.
According to the publication, the list has 21 new names of businesses in the crypto space that are running illegal operations. Majority of these businesses are alleged to have offered investment opportunities in initial coin offering (ICOs), cryptocurrency trading and mining activities without getting approval from the relevant authorities.
The new list comes nearly six months after the AMF first published its blacklist of businesses allegedly involved in fraudulent schemes. The initial list had 15 cryptocurrency platforms, which were believed to have committed the same offence. Four more websites, all operating without licenses, were added to the AMF list in July.
The recently added businesses include bitcoin.co, acheterdubitcoin.com, adg-placemnet.com, cryptofrance.info, goodcoin.fr, investirvin.info and vinsimo.com, among others.
The AMF has been actively involved in making sure investors in the country do not fall victims to criminal activities in the crypto space—not an easy task given that France currently doesn’t have a legal framework that fully covers cryptocurrency activities. Under the French Law, cryptocurrencies are not considered as currencies. They are also not regarded as financial instruments. Despite lack of legal clarification on cryptocurrencies earlier this year, AMF concluded that crypto derivatives should be subjected to the rules applicable to financial instruments under the Monetary and Financial Code of France.
In September, lawmakers in Paris adopted a new legislation that introduced guidelines to regulate token sales in the country. The new law grants AMF power over businesses planning to conduct an ICO. According to the law, entities are required to meet certain conditions including proving specific guarantee to participants. Token issuers are required to publish all relevant information that will help the investor make an informed decision.
Authorities hope the new rules will provide a clear guideline on how to handle ICO matters. The new laws are also aimed at improving the cryptocurrency climate in the country. While the AMF is cracking down on businesses in the crypto space, the government is working to create a better environment—it recently lowered the tax rate on cryptocurrency capital gain from 45 percent to 19 percent.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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