France’s top financial regulator has published a new list of investment websites that do not have authorization to operate within the country, including the so-called digital asset service providers (DASPs).
The dual regulatory structure in France, which includes the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) and the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR), is tackling unregulated providers of FX and crypto-assets derivatives. In a joint statement, the watchdogs published a list of 11 brokers that were inviting investors to invest in fiat and cryptocurrencies without authorization to carry out business in their jurisdiction.
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The list of recently identified sites includes the following domain names:
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The AMF said that the full list of unauthorized sites is available on the regulator’s website, and emphasized that these domains may change very quickly and that the list is not meant to be exhaustive.
The warning comes as Paris is seeking to police crypto activities, and in addition to such warnings, the industry regulator has recently approved the country’s first application for an initial coin offering (ICO). It has also published new rules regarding the licensing of digital asset service providers as well as guidelines for firms applying for the non-mandatory license and informing the regulator about internal cybersecurity practices.
The Pacte Law encompasses a very broad range of measures covering many aspects of all crypto-active players. The current laws require cryptocurrency exchanges as well as custodian providers to undergo a mandatory AMF registration and obtain a certification to be granted by the French watchdog. France’s primary regulator confirmed that it is already involved with other crypto-related operators such as exchange platforms, custodians, and asset managers.
Finally, the AMF recommends that traders seeking to invest in France do so only with financial institutions authorized to do business in the country. The AMF also warns market participants that “any unauthorized intermediaries run the risk of criminal sanctions” and advises against responding to offers from any broker on the published lists.
Any financial intermediary offering or recommending investments must be on the list of financial institutions authorized to do business in France, as can be verified via www.regafi.fr. A list of authorized intermediaries in additional investor adviser categories can be accessed on orias.fr/search.