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France Calls For EU-Wide Cryptocurrency Regulation

France Calls For EU-Wide Cryptocurrency Regulation

France financial regulators are reiterating their call for EU-wide cryptocurrency regulation. They want to push for an EU-wide regulation that grants the European Securities and Markets Authority greater direct power to control the growing cryptocurrency market in the region.

The Autorité des Marchés Financiers, which is said that doing so would give all national supervisors economies of scale and concentrate expertise efficiently. This would be for the common benefit of the European region, it said.

“The EU should seriously consider a shift towards a truly centralised supervision of certain categories of entities and activities.”

Such measures would help regulators to guide on financial matters. It also wants ESMA to oversee clearing houses and bourse operations in the region.

For a year now, it appears the AMF has not been so successful in pushing for an EU-wide crypto regulation since last year when the country’s parliament passed a law that recognizes crypto issuers and traders operating in the country. Such activities are to be taxed by the regulators.

AMF said that it was unfortunate member states have not fully supported efforts for a more integrated European supervision, yet it was a cornerstone for building an EU block capable of competing at a global level.

“The EU capital market needs a harmonised and unified supervision that ensures a level playing field for all market players and eliminates arbitrage opportunities. It is high time Member States transformed declarations of intent into tangible political support for a harmonised EU supervision of capital markets.”  

According to the European Commission, although crypto assets fall under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, the Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA) has been proposed to cover crypto instruments that do not fall under that regulation, for instance, utility and payment tokens. It will provide direction for issuing crypto assets, providers of digital wallets, and crypto exchanges. However, it is under development.

On its part, the AMF announced that it will prioritize developing technological tools for enforcement against financial violations during the 2021-2022 financial year. It has openly expressed dissatisfaction with some operators of crypto assets involved in malpractices. For instance, it publishes a blacklist of websites identified in offering unregulated and unauthorized products including derivative markets whose underlying assets include crypto assets.   

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