French Watchdog Cracks Down on Crypto Trading

Financial regulator will crack down on unregulated cryptocurrency futures and derivatives trading
22 February 2018   219

According to the statement, the Autorite des Marches Financiers (AMF) informed that it observed online trading platforms such as binary options, contracts for differences (CFDs), and Forex contracts. AMF concluded that such platforms qualified as derivatives, making them subject to AMF oversight.

The AMF stated that online platforms which offer cryptocurrency derivatives fall within the scope of MiFID 2 and must, therefore, comply with the authorisation, conduct of business rules, and the EMIR trade reporting obligation to a trade repository.

Two French platforms Plus500 Ltd. and IG Group Holdings Plc. had reported strong growth in their quarterly earnings reports, which they attributed in part to their cryptocurrency futures and derivatives products.

The agency also declared a ban on the advertising of crypto derivatives based on a new anti-corruption law.

At the moment EU regulators are considering banning trading platforms citing concerns about investor protection. Due to this fact, the AMF’s interest in unregulated cryptocurrency futures and derivatives trading increased.

Cryptocurrency to be Regulated in France

French Ministry of the Economy and Finances creates working group to regulate cryptocurrency
22 March 2018   117

Bruno Le Maire, the French Minister of the Economy, announced the government initiative to constitute the instructions and regulations towards cryptocurrency. The group is also aimed to decrease the influence of Bitcoin and altcoins to the formal system of economy with the help of required concept. These measures would help French government to prevent tax avoidance and some other criminal activities (such as money laundering).

In an op-ed that was published in French media this week the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire made a promise not to miss the blockchain revolution. He refined the reasons of the French authorities`decision to regulate the technology. According to his point of view, it is impossible for any consumer or entrepreneur to carry out a transaction, invest, develop in business being in a regulatory vacuum. The Minister also put this position on the top among the rest questions to be discussed at G20 Summit in Buenos Aires. Bruno Le Maire is sure that the role of France is to be a driving force in “building the world of tomorrow”.

The Minister is going to present his case at the G20 Summit in 2018 in Argentina. He hopes that the framework can help in decreasing illegal activity in cryptocurrencies. Le Maire also explained that the sphere of digital funds is extremely attractive for criminals.

The leader of the working group is Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of France Jean-Pierre Landau. The French Central Bank supports the Government and hopes there would be no negative impact and consequences for the traditional economy system.

The key object of cryptocurrency regulation is to limit various negative factors in the financial sphere caused by digital money, such as the price volatility. Le Maire claims that at the same time the regulation of the cryptocurrency can support the development of the technology and can even lead to the economic growth. As blockchain can destroy not only traditional daily practices in banking and financial markets, but also patents and certified acts, the French Minister of Economy urges that the working group should foresee all these changes and become “actors of this revolution”, instead of simple viewers.