France Relaxes Crypto License Requirements

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  • In a surprise move that doesn’t echo current sentiments of governments, France has relaxed crypto license requirements
  • The National Assembly this week approved new regulations that will make it easier for cryptocurrency companies to obtain licenses
  • The vote passed 61-33, showing a strong agreement

In a move that goes against the grain of many other countries around the world, the French National Assembly has approved new regulations that will make it easier for cryptocurrency companies to obtain licenses. The amendment, proposed by Senator Daniel Labaronne, allows crypto firms to register with the financial regulator using existing requirements outlined in the European Union’s comprehensive regulations for crypto assets. The new regulations come after an earlier amendment proposed by Senator Herve Maurey, which would have required a higher-tier license that no company has yet obtained, was rejected following the collapse of FTX and calls for stricter crypto regulation.

France Dealing With Crypto Regs Since 2018

France has been dealing with the issue of crypto taxation and licensing for over four years, ever since it was proposed in 2018 that crypto miners and traders pay a different rate of tax, a move that ended up being vetoed.

However, in December 2020 it was reported that France was preparing to bring in tough new crypto regulations involving tougher identity measures on exchanges and planned to subject crypto-crypto transactions to Know Your Customer (KYC) checks.

French Crypto Companies Get a Break

The latest round of regulatory discussions relate requests from the cryptocurrency industry to put forward an amendment to current regulations that eliminate the need for a high-tier mandatory license for crypto firms. Senator Labaronne agreed to the demands, suggesting that crypto companies should be able to register with the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) using the requirements outlined in the EU’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation. The proposal was voted on this week and passed with 61 in favor and 33 against. 

These requirements include measures for governance, reporting to regulators, and the segregation of funds. Companies that are already registered under existing anti-money laundering regulations will be able to continue operating until the end of the transition period provided by MiCA, which is expected to be in 2026.