France has been recognized as quickly crafting a digital asset friendly regulatory environment while some other jurisdictions struggled to move. The concept of digital securities and non-security crypto assets found support from policymakers and a law was enacted to create a structure for initial coin offerings (ICOs) in stark contrast to most other countries.
Under the Pacte Law (or Loi Pacte) ICO issuers were allowed to legally raise capital online and then, following the issuance of the digital asset, trade the tokens on a crypto exchange. Issuers of these utility tokens could receive a VISA issued by the French Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) and be “white-listed” by the securities regulator – but the process was not a requirement.
Following approval of the law, Crowdfund Insider heard rumblings that a handful of aspiring issuers were applying to the AMF but since January only a single ICO issuer has been approved.
So is this a failure of policy that attempted to address a market that had since moved on? Good question. It is hard to tell.
There are still a fair amount of utility type digital assets floating around the world. While in the US, pretty much everything is a security or a digital currency, some other jurisdictions are more tolerant. Perhaps, there are other reasons for such a slow uptake of regulated ICOs in France.
As for the single AMF approved ICO issuer, French-ICO, the offering has topped its soft-cap of 500 ETH (about 530 ETH or €103,000) with 30 days left to go in the offering. The offering went live on March 1, 2020, with a maximum target of €1 million.
French-ICO is a platform for other ICO issuers to raise capital online. The FICO token may be used as a payment vehicle on the site. It is also possible to buy or sell FICOs on the exchange platform of Zebitex.com.
While the French AMF has white-listed just a single ICO, the liste noire or black list of “crypto-actifs” is very well populated.
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