The year 2023 could probably have started better for French crypto companies.
Just before the holidays and in response to the FTX scandal, Senator Hervé Maurey (UDI, center right), passed an amendment that requires any player wanting to practice the profession of digital asset service provider (DASP) to obtain "approval" from the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) by October 1, 2023. However, the measure does not concern players already registered as PSANs, but only new applicants.
Since 2019 and the Pact law, companies can operate in France with a "registration" that is less restrictive (control of good standing and anti-money laundering). Just over fifty companies have obtained it. However, none of them has yet obtained approval.
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The measure, which must now be voted on by deputies in the National Assembly on January 24, is strongly criticized by the ecosystem for two reasons:
First, because this obligation was already provided for by the European MiCA regulation, which will come into force in 2024.
Then, and above all, because this text greatly reduces the time required for companies not yet registered to adapt.
Currently, it is expected that companies have 12 months from this date (18 months if they are already registered at the national level) to comply. This would bring forward the timetable by two years for companies that have not been registered as PSAN. "Many will not be able to have the registration in time", underlines a French actor, who underlines the lack of means of the AMF.
Because the problem is not with the crypto companies, but with the delays in processing the files with the stock market regulator. Some companies have been waiting for more than a year to be registered, even though the procedure is lighter than for approval.
According to our information, an emergency meeting was organized on December 22 with the AMF, the Treasury Department (attached to Bercy) and representatives of the Association for the Development of Digital Assets (Adan).
The idea of the meeting was to see how to avoid that start-ups are penalized by this potential new regulation. But the meeting did not result in any progress. "We found ourselves up against a wall," says a participant from Adan. While waiting for the vote on January 24, the political negotiations will be (very) hot. According to our information, this amendment would have good chances to be voted because "there are more risks for the deputies to oppose a reinforcement of the regulation after the FTX scandal", worries a prominent member of the sector.