Just when we all thought that the United Kingdom would be paving the way for crypto in Europe, France President Macron stepped in and turned the tides for the entire European bloc.
Macron’s French Financial Markets Authority (AMF) is considering a “fast track” option for licensed crypto firms to comply with the forthcoming Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) laws.
In a statement released on April 21, the AMF outlined how French regulation will proceed over the next 18 months during the transitory period.
What is the AMF Trying to Accomplish?
One of the main focuses of the AMF will be assisting French providers of digital asset services with the transition to MiCA regulation.
The AMF is reviewing “fast track” options for these firms to ensure they comply with MiCA regulations as soon as possible.
Regarding MiCA compliance, the AMF is looking to address gaps such as fund provision and conflict of interest policies.
The European Parliament approved the MiCA regulatory package on April 20, to the delight of the crypto industry. The regulation will now require approval from the European Council in July to be officially adopted as regulation.
Tentatively, it will come into effect from the beginning of 2025 and establish a clear and consistent regulatory framework for crypto assets among European Union (EU) member states.
Options for Crypto Companies in France
Crypto firms in France have two licensing options: a simple option with relaxed requirements and a more stringent enhanced option favored by the government and reported to be closely aligned with MiCA regulations.
The stricter option includes more controls surrounding anti-money laundering rules, customer asset custody, reporting to regulators, and providing detailed risk and conflict of interest disclosures to strengthen consumer protection.
All 60 AMF-registered crypto firms in France are currently regulated under the relaxed option and will remain so until they are ported over to MiCA regulation.
The AMF previously stated that any crypto firm registering after January 2024 must do so under the more stringent option.
Additionally, the AMF pointed out that any company regulated under either category can only offer its services in France until they are ported over to MiCA.
“These actors will be able to continue to offer their services to the French public only … service providers who are approved under the MiCA regulation will be able to benefit from the European passport and provide their services in all EU countries.”
Will the French’s interest in crypto be the catalyst that the EU needs in order to change things for the better?
How is France Reacting to Crypto Right Now?
French taxpayers declared some $442 million worth of crypto trading profits in the most recent tax year, per the nation’s tax body.
Per Le Figaro, the figure was “substantial” but was “10 times lower than the estimates of the gains made in 2021.”
The body made its claim based on the number of people disclosing their gains on tax returns.
However, the newspaper quoted a Chainalysis report that claimed that “the gains made in 2021 from crypto asset trading in France amounted to more than $4 billion.” The newspaper wrote:
“This figure is 10 times more than the amount declared to public finance authorities. In other words, a majority of crypto assets holders still seem to be evading taxes.”
In short, there is plenty of continued activity in France, and we can realistically expect more as the European bloc lessens its hold on everything and anything crypto