France: Regulation of crypto-assets, intermediaries and initial coin offerings in France

France has regulated Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and intermediaries providing crypto-asset services by virtue of its PACTE law n°2019-486 of 22 May 2019. Its aim was twofold: France wanted to attract meritorious projects to its territory while also bringing this ecosystem within the ambit of regulation. Thus, while France transposed the EU Fifth Anti-Money Laundering-Directive (AML-Directive), it went a step further by imposing additional regulatory duties on intermediaries. In this respect, it has provided a degree of regulation for such intermediaries inspired by the MiFID II obligations for financial services.

While the French regulatory framework has potential, its success depends on a cost-benefit analysis, Iris Barsan, assistant professor at the University of Paris XII, says. Given that the block chain ecosystem is mainly composed of start-up businesses, it would not be certain that the benefits outweigh the regulatory costs. As these market participants are very mobile, and laws have a territorial scope, enforcement may become an issue.

Find the extended article of Iris Barsan here:

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