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French financial regulator AMF publishes new rules for crypto firms

Fri, 27 Dec 2019, 06:39 am UTC

France’s Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) (or Financial Markets Authority) has published new rules regarding the licensing of digital asset service providers (DASPs) and the cybersecurity requirements to be met by them.

CoinDesk reported that the new rules and guidelines build upon the PACTE law, meant to be an action plan for business growth and transformation, passed in May this year.

In their application for obtaining a license from the AMF, DASPs have to provide a number of details, including their two-year business plan, the list or categories of digital assets covered by their activities, the geographic breakdown of activities, and their organizational chart, among other details.

Furthermore, licensed DASPs are required to have professional indemnity insurance or a minimum amount of reserve funds. Such entities are also required to have at least one effective senior manager, sufficient human and technical resources, resilient IT systems, an internal control system, a claims handling procedure, an organisation enabling it to avoid conflicts of interest, and procedures for the prevention of money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

“If you provide services of digital asset custody and/or buying or selling digital assets for legal tender in France, you must register with the AMF. To do so, you must have an establishment in France. The registration procedure is mandatory. The AMF will check that you comply with the regulations on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT),” the AMF said.

Regarding the cybersecurity system requirements, the regulator said that the objective is to ensure that DASPs have a resilient and secure information system to manage threats to this ecosystem, including wallets holding digital assets being compromised, personal data breaches, denial of service attacks, identity theft, and inability to investigate in the event of an incident or fraudulent activity.

The AMF has published specific rules for crypto custodians, crypto exchanges, and crypto broker-dealers.

In addition, the AMF, along with the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR), has warned the public against the activities of several websites and entities proposing forex investments or proposing online investment services in France for derivatives whose underlyings include crypto assets.

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