France’s AMF defends optional regulatory regime for crypto assets, ICOs

Maria Nikolova

Robert Ophèle, chairman of the AMF, speaks in favor of an innovative approach that envisages optional licenses for crypto asset service providers.

Robert Ophèle, chairman of France’s financial markets authority AMF, has voiced his support for an innovative approach towards the regulation of cryptos.

Mr Ophele noted that an innovative environment, such as the one associated with cryptos, requires an innovative regulatory approach. Importantly, the regimes under consideration in France to a large extent offer a degree on optionality, with an optional AMF visa/approval for initial coin offerings, and an optional Crypto Asset Service Provider license.

The French regulator said such an approach was appropriate for a number of reasons.

First, because currently the crypto-asset environment is developing to a large extent in a legal vacuum. For that matter, an optional regime may mark the first regulatory step in response to the legal uncertainty this environment presents.

Second, even if optional, such a regime will bring better investor protection since the investor will have the possibility to choose and prefer licensed entities. This marks a significant improvement when compared to the current situation. To some extent instead of relying mainly on black lists of dubious products and fraudulent intermediaries, the AMF is now leaning in favor of white lists of labelled products and licensed intermediaries, providing investors with an incentive to turn their attention to these.

Third, this environment is still very much nascent and the AMF admitted that it needs to gain a deeper understanding of how it is structured. An overly prescriptive framework could unduly harm the development of innovation. An optional regime leaves the environment time to structure, just as it leaves the authorities time to build their knowledge.

Finally, it would be most challenging to effectively enforce a mandatory regime on a purely national basis.

Let’s recall that the investor info center of the AMF received 2,261 enquiries about crypto-assets in the first 10 months of 2018. Whereas the regulator confirms that there are concerns about crypto fraud, in most the cases complaints concern fraudulent investments in cryptocurrencies rather initial coin offerings (ICOs). They remain a rather marginal method of financing, having generated EUR 19.4 billion since 2014. France represents a minor part of this market, with 15 ICOs having generated EUR 89 million.

The French regulator noted back then that meager 6% of the tokens display characteristics of financial instruments. This presents a major challenge for regulating crypto-related activities.

Read this next


Spotware Systems unveils version 4.4 of Desktop and Web terminals

Spotware Systems, a technology provider for the electronic trading industry, has launched updated versions of its cTrader Desktop and Web terminals, which add new functionality to join a roster of advanced trading capabilities.

Institutional FX

Integral reports best monthly FX volume in 6 months

Currency trading on Integral’s platforms rose in September to its highest levels since March 2022 as increased volatility across financial markets led to greater activity on institutional FX venues.

Retail FX

OctaFX pre-launches new trading platform as MT4 and MT5 remain suspended by Apple

Like many other brokers within the FX and CFD industry, OctaFX had all its eggs in one basket, MetaQuotes, only offering access to MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. OctaTrader will provide the much needed change.


Is the Bank of England facing another storm? Op-Ed by Stuart Cole, macro economist at Equiti Capital

An analysis and opinion editorial by Stuart Cole, macro economist at Equiti Capital, 3 October 2022 on what triggered the UK gilt market sell-off and is the Bank of England facing another storm?

Industry News

Kim Kardashian fined $1 million for touting EMAX tokens on social media

“Investors are entitled to know whether the publicity of a security is unbiased, and Ms. Kardashian failed to disclose this information.”

Retail FX

INFINOX launches IX Exchange platform with +20,000 markets in UK

“The launch of IX Exchange is a statement of intent for our growth strategy and a game-changer for our clients’ trading potential.”

Retail FX

Saxo issues gloomy report for Q4 2022 and beyond

Globalisation was the biggest driver behind low inflation over the past 30 years and instrumental for emerging markets and their equity markets. Globalisation in reverse will cause turmoil for trade surplus countries, put upward pressure on inflation and threaten the USD as the reserve currency.

Executive Moves

ICE appoints Caterina Caramaschi to oversee interest rates and equity derivatives

“As the head of a product set covering some of the biggest interest rate and equity derivative benchmarks, at a time when investor’s priorities are firmly focused on interest rate changes and the outlook for global economies, Caterina’s two decades of financial market experience, and the relationships cultivated during that, will be invaluable in developing these products to the benefit of our customers.”

Retail FX

Plus500 sponsors Chicago Bulls ahead of trading platform launch in United States

Plus500 has signed a major multi-year sponsorship deal to become an official global partner of iconic NBA team Chicago Bulls.