France regulator unveils proposals for voluntary regulation of crypto

France regulator unveils proposals for voluntary regulation of crypto

The financial regulator in France has unveiled new proposals for a voluntary system of regulation for the cryptocurrency sector, as a precursor to a uniform international approach.

The Financial Markets Authority (AMF) is planning to launch an experimental framework for crypto regulation this month, which firms will be able to voluntarily subscribe to secure the approval of the regulator, Reuters reported.

Amongst the voluntary rules will be requirements around capital reserves, taxation and consumer protections.

The regulator has suggested the voluntary approach is preferable to codified law, which will likely need redrafting once more international standards for regulation emerge.

Anne Marechal, executive director for legal affairs at the AMF, said the voluntary model would allow for a more flexible legislative response once international crypto regulations had been agreed.

The approach is similar for the voluntary code established by the AMF back in April, when the regulator said banks would be compelled to provide basic banking services crypto firms that choose to abide by the standards.

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire previously suggested the approach could inform a harmonized EU model of crypto regulation, which would apply throughout the 27-nation bloc.

The proposals have been welcomed by industry figures, including Frederic Montagnon, the co-founder of the crypto exchange LGO, which is considering expanding into the French market.

Montagnon said crypto businesses crave the certainty of regulation, even if this means adhering to more restrictive compliance requirements.

“When you are an entrepreneur, the worst that can happen to you is to set up your business where there is no regulation, to see an adverse regulatory framework later imposed that jeopardizes your whole business,” he said.

According to reports, the regulator is already taking soundings from a number of cryptocurrency companies, as well as preparing to give its approval to a handful of ICOs.

The approach will be watched by closely by regulators elsewhere, in both the EU and beyond, with a number of bodies worldwide considering their own approach to regulating crypto exchanges, ICOs and other cryptocurrency businesses.

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