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Bank of France governor wants to require crypto firms to secure a DASP license

None of the 60 AMF-registered firms opted to secure a DASP license.

Image by: Wikimedia Commons

Fri, 06 Jan 2023, 05:59 am UTC

The governor of the Bank of France, the country’s central bank, is pushing for stricter licensing requirements for crypto firms in the country. The official cited the current turmoil in the crypto market as the main reason for a more stringent licensing regime.

Bank of France governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau air his concern during a January 5 speech in Paris. The central bank chief pointed out that the country shouldn’t wait for the upcoming EU crypto laws to mandate obligatory licensing for local Digital Asset Service Providers (DASPs) in its jurisdiction.

The European Parliaments Markets in Crypto Assets bill (MiCA) is expected to arrive in 2024. The crypto law will introduce a licensing regime for the EU aside from other digital assets-related regulations.

“All the disorder in 2022 feeds a simple belief: it is desirable for France to move to an obligatory licensing of DASP as soon as possible, rather than just registration,” Villeroy said in his speech.

France’s market regulator Financial Markets Authority (AMF) currently requires crypto businesses that provide crypto trading and custody services to register with the agency. However, getting a DASP license remains optional.

Those who plan to secure a DASP license will be required to comply with a slew of requirements on the crypto company’s business organization, financing, and conduct. These extra requirements probably explain why none of the 60 AMF-registered firms opted to secure a DASP license.

Villeroy’s recent push for a more stringent licensing regime comes after Senate finance commission member Hervé Maurey’s proposed amendment in December 2022 that sought to remove the clause that allows companies to operate even without a DASP license.

France currently allows unlicensed crypto firms to operate until 2026 even if MiCA is signed into law. The parliament will start its deliberations on the proposed amendment starting this month.

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