Bitvavo gears up for French market following regulatory approval

abdelaziz Fathi

Dutch cryptocurrency exchange Bitvavo is taking its operations to France, having obtained the green light from the French financial authority, Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF).

This move represents another milestone in Bitvavo’s European expansion, following recent regulatory approvals in Austria and previous inroads into Italy.

Bitvavo, founded in 2018 and based in Amsterdam, is a member of the Dutch Association of Bitcoin Companies, which means that it operates in compliance with Dutch regulatory requirements.

Bitvavo’s registration with the AMF is seen as a crucial development in its growth strategy. CEO Mark Nuvelstijn said they plan to introduce their consumer-focused services to French users, signaling confidence in the platform’s future in the local market.

This expansion is backed by an intriguing shift in investment trends among French citizens. According to an AMF survey, cryptocurrency ownership in France has surpassed that of traditional stocks and bonds, with 9% of the population holding digital assets. This insight likely fuels Bitvavo’s European ambitions, as the exchange aims to cater to the burgeoning demand for cryptocurrency services.

Already serving around 1.5 million customers in the Benelux region, Bitvavo’s French venture is poised to further increase its footprint in the European market.

The exchange was in the news recently after Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, asked its Dutch users to withdraw their assets or transfer them to another wallet address. Gemini recommended its existing customers to consider transferring their crypto or fiat assets to Bitvavo,.

France is set to implement changes to its cryptocurrency regulations in order to align with the pan-European framework established by Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA).

The Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), France’s primary financial authority, unveiled in August the details of its General Regulation and policy concerning digital asset service providers (DASPs).

Under the new provisions, crypto platforms will need to adhere to certain requirements. These include implementing conflict of interest management systems, additional disclosure obligations, segregating client assets from platform assets, and refraining from using client assets without their explicit prior consent. These changes are aimed at aligning the French crypto landscape with broader European regulatory standards.

Currently, France is home to approximately 74 registered crypto companies, and this number is expected to grow further. Circle was the latest to join the list of crypto firms that have scored a major regulatory approval in France, and it follows the steps of Binance and Crypto.com. In recent months, brokerage firm eToro and Digital Currency Group’s Luno have also registered with France’s AMF.

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