French financial regulator AMF approved the country’s first application for an ICO
France seems to be having a new interest, although the hype surrounding the initial coin offerings may have subsided in the United States. On December 17, the French financial regulator, Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), approved the country’s first application for an initial coin offering (ICO). While the token sale is still legal as a fundraising option in France, only products that have been approved by AMF can be sold directly to the public.
The offering from a company called French-ICO, which has developed a funding platform for cryptocurrency projects, is the first to be white-listed and a notice posted on the AMF website.
France approved the first ICO
The regulator’s approval will remain in effect until the end of the registration period, scheduled for June 1, 2020. AMF explained that they only approved the ICO proposal, not the token issuer. The main French regulatory agency details that interested publishers can only register for an ICO for a period not exceeding six months.
AMF said earlier this year that it was negotiating with three or four candidates for initial coin offerings (ICOs).
AMF announced on Wednesday that it had approved the first public initial coin offering in the country. French Law No. 2019-486 May 22, 2019, also known as Action Plan for Business Growth and Transformation (Pacte) law, has introduced a specific regime for cryptocurrency assets and ICOs in France. Passed on April 11, the law allows the issuers the option to obtain approval for their token sales from AMF.
The issuer with an approved ICO is a company called French-ICO. According to its website, the token public sale is expected to begin on March 1 and end on June 1.
PACTE Law – ICO Regulation in France
According to AMF’s website, an ICO can be defined as a fundraising transaction made through distributed ledger technology (DLT or blockchain) and lead to a token issue. The source noted that “these tokens can then be used to obtain goods or services, as the case may be.”
Under PACTE law, companies issuing visa tokens from French regulatory agencies are required to provide documents containing all relevant ICO information. This information document and marketing materials related to the ICO must be accurate to allow investors to understand the risks associated with the offer.
The new rule introduced by the Pacte law, which aims to promote the development of ICOs, details about AMF. In addition, it only applies to utility token issues and does not apply to Security Token Offerings (STOs).
Publishers wishing to conduct an ICO can apply for approval from AMF and meet a number of criteria. First, it must be established as a legal entity established or registered in France. Second, its whitepaper must be drafted according to Article 712-2 of the AMF General Regulations and with the AMF Instruction DOC-2019-06.
A process to monitor and protect the funds raised by the ICO must be implemented, and a system must be in place to ensure compliance with anti-money laundering and financing of terrorism obligations.
France has previously issued its own guidelines on ICO management and similar token sales in early 2018. And then they proposed legislative amendments to include cryptocurrency-related entities in the financial watchdog’s legislative portfolio.
Anne Maréchal, AMF’s Legal Director, believes, “The optional consent is a good compromise to attract serious ICO projects and innovation in France while ensuring investor protection.”
France blocked Facebook’s Libra
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire on Thursday attacked Facebook’s Libra, saying the country would halt the growth of digital currencies in Europe.
The ministry is concerned about the impact of Libra, on financial stability and believes it will threaten current monetary sovereignty, according to a Reuters report.
Announced in June, Facebook is aiming to launch its digital currency by 2020. If launched, the social media company will introduce the cryptocurrency to 2.7 billion users and on its many proprietary platforms – Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram.
France has been hostile to Facebook’s cryptocurrency initiative since the announcement. Le Maire had previously raised concerns for the same saying that Libra should stop becoming a sovereign currency.
“It can’t and it must not happen,” he added.
Meanwhile, Facebook is seeking payment system licenses from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) for its digital currency.
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