France’s AMF opens consultation into ICOs

Maria Nikolova

The French financial markets authority warns about the risks associated with ICOs and notes that at this point it cannot guarantee the safety of investments in such projects.

France’s financial markets authority AMF has added its voice to the growing chorus of concerns regarding initial coin offerings (ICOs). The French regulator today opened a consultation into ICOs, with most questions focused on the possible ways to regulate these offerings.

The consultation is open from October 26, 2017, to December 22, 2017, with comments to be sent to [email protected]

The French regulator notes the recent rapid developments in the area of blockchain technologies and the disruptive nature of these technologies and ICOs. But the watchdog warns of many risks associated with ICOs, including the fact that often the entities behind such offers are located overseas, where ICOs may be unregulated or prohibited, or that such entities conceal their corporate identities leaving them out of reach in case a problem emerges. Moreover, this innovative form of investment implies high risk of losses and investments are not guaranteed in any way. The risk of ICOs being used for money laundering is also present.

Concerning how ICOs may potentially be regulated in France, the AMF proposes a detailed analysis, which shows that tokens do not fall under the scope of the “securities” concept, which makes it hard to regulate them and leaves them in some grey area in terms of law.

The French regulator notes the various approaches by regulators across the globe with regard to ICOs – ranging from prohibitions in China and South Korea, and the more moderate stance of the financial regulators in the UK and Switzerland.

In September this year, the Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) of Switzerland said it was examining the booming segment of ICOs. FINMA also indicated that it was investigating a number of ICO cases in order to determine whether certain regulatory provisions have been breached.

FINMA stressed that the structure of ICOs varies markedly in each case. It also emphasized that ICOs are currently not governed by specific regulations, either globally or in Switzerland. Depending on how an ICO is structured, however, some parts of the procedure may already be covered by existing regulations, such as provisions on combating money laundering and terrorist financing, banking law provisions, and provisions on securities trading, the Swiss regulator said.

Read this next

Metaverse Gaming NFT

DCentral Miami brings together all of Web3, NFT, DeFi, Metaverse

The world’s biggest Web3 meeting entitled DCENTRAL Miami is set to take place November 28-29, featuring a lineup of some of the biggest and most influential names in the blockchain space.

Digital Assets

Crypto ban expands across UK banks as Starling joins ‎crackdown

UK digital bank Starling has banned ‎all customer payments related to cryptocurrencies, another blow for the crypto traders ‎who recently saw a sizable number of banks deciding not to ‎finance the wobbly asset class.‎


Markets Direct at FIA EXPO 2022: Traders know what they want from brokers

The FIA Expo 2022, one of the most prestigious events within the global derivatives trading industry, took place in Chicago on 14 & 15 November.


FIA Expo 2022: TNS addresses public cloud limitations with hybrid infrastructure

November is the month of the FIA Expo, one of the largest futures and options conferences in the world, bringing together regulators, exchanges, software vendors, and brokers in one place: the Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk. 

Retail FX

Italy’s regulator blacks out Finance CapitalFX, MFCapitalFX

Italy’s Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB) has shut down new websites in an ongoing clampdown against firms it accuses of illegally promoting investment products in the country.

Retail FX

Suspected leader of Honk Kong ramp-and-dump scam appears in court

A leader of a sophisticated ramp-and-dump scheme made his first court appearance in a Hong Kong court today, charged with market manipulation and various criminal offences. The case stems from an earlier joint operation of Hong Kong’s financial watchdog, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), and the local police. 

Institutional FX

Cboe’s James Arrante discusses growing demand for fixed income, FX algo

We caught up with James Arrante, senior director of FX & US treasuries product and business management at Cboe Global Markets, to uncover emerging trends in the FX and fixed income markets and learn more about the bourse operator’s recent initiatives.

Retail FX

Eurotrader acquires UK broker Petra Asset Management

Eurotrader Group has formally entered into the UK market with the acquisition of FCA-regulated broker, previously named Petra Asset Management Ltd. The new entity operates under the brand name Eurotrade Capital Ltd.

Inside View, Retail FX

The Game of Chess Continues – OPEC, China and the Oil Market

Over the past decade, the US has been complaining about the amount of power which the BRIC group, and specifically China, has on the global economy. BRIC stands for Brazil, Russia, India and China; these were the world’s fastest growing economies. Only in the past 10 months, the US has turned their attention toward OPEC due to the prices of fuel. Nevertheless, China seems to have a strong influence even over the price of crude oil.