Tag: France

1
AMF synthesis of the contributions received on ICO regulation in France
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France’s Financial Markets Authority considers its options for regulating initial coin offerings
3
France moves forward with Blockchain for certain securities exchanges
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Securities over the Blockchain expected to get legal framework in France this fall
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Paris stepping into London’s FinTech shoes?
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Electronic money: the French Government strengthens financial intermediaries’ obligations
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The French take on the blockchain

AMF synthesis of the contributions received on ICO regulation in France

By Claude-Étienne Armingaud

The French Autorité des Marchés Financiers has recently published a synthesis of the contributions it received in response to its public consultation on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) to obtain stakeholder views on how these new types of blockchain offerings might be regulated.

The consultation included a presentation of ICOs, a warning on the risks they present, a legal analysis of ICOs with respect to the rules overseen by the AMF and the regulatory options proposed by the AMF. Respondents were invited to give their views on all of these points.

The English version of the synthesis can be found here and our previous coverage of the consultation can be found here.

 

France’s Financial Markets Authority considers its options for regulating initial coin offerings

By Claude-Étienne ArmingaudEmilie OberlisAlexandre BalducciSidney Lichtenstein and Alban Michou-Tognelli

The French Financial Markets Authority, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (“AMF”), recently published a white paper requesting the views of stakeholders on the best means of regulating the fundraising activities based on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology and is also launching a digital-asset research program called UNICORN (“Universal Node to ICO’s Research & Network”). In doing so, the AMF is following in the footsteps of the French Ministry of Finance, which published a draft document aimed at adapting the French legal framework to the use of blockchain technology on 19 September 2017 (see our coverage here).

The white paper focuses on initial coin offerings (“ICOs”) which are fundraising activities used to finance technology-based projects at an early stage of development. Participants to an ICO transaction receive tokens issued by the project initiator, in exchange for their investment in cryptocurrency or fiat currency. These tokens (a) have different characteristics depending on the transaction; (b) confer different rights to their owners; and (c) are intended for a technologically-oriented and informed audience that has a good understanding of (i) the nature of the project, (ii) the underlying technology, and (iii) the risks associated with the project.

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France moves forward with Blockchain for certain securities exchanges

By Claude-Étienne Armingaud and Emilie Oberlis

Following the adoption of Act no.2016-1691, dated 9 December 2016, on Transparency, Anti-Corruption, and Modernization of Economic Life (“Sapin II” – see our compliance coverage here) and the publication of its responses to a public consultation request on 30 August 2017 (see our coverage here), the French Ministry of Finance published a draft document aimed at adapting the French legal framework to the use of blockchain technology.

The draft (which may be accessed in French here) addresses the possibility for companies, to register the following instruments with a “shared electronic registry”:

  • Negotiable debt securities;
  • Units or shares of undertakings for collective investment;
  • Capital securities issued by corporations and debt securities other than negotiable debt securities, provided that they are not traded on a trading platform.

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Securities over the Blockchain expected to get legal framework in France this fall

By Claude-Étienne Armingaud & Sidney Lichtenstein

The French Act no.2016-1691 dated 9 December 2016 on Transparency, Anti-Corruption and Modernization of Economic Life empowered the Government to amend the regulatory framework to facilitate the transmission of certain financial securities through blockchain technology.

In order to prepare such executive order, the Ministry of Finance initiated last Spring a public consultation, whose key trends were made public on 30 August 2017.

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Paris stepping into London’s FinTech shoes?

By Claude-Etienne Armingaud

Despite the lack of announcement by UK Government to give notification to the EU under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty of its decision to withdraw from the Union, France is already making its move to move into the steps of the former Fintech capital of Europe. On January 25-26, 2017, more than 1,500 people attended the second edition of the Paris FinTech Forum, encompassing more than 28 countries and 130 companies, from global players to startups.

The irony of the event location, set in the historical venue of the former Paris Stock Exchange building, was not lost to the Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau who wondered “Who would have imagined just a few years ago that a central banker would be speaking at a forum on innovation?” before recognizing that “For banks and insurers, the digital revolution is upsetting the traditional model for client relations” and “there are difficult choices ahead.

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Electronic money: the French Government strengthens financial intermediaries’ obligations

By Claude-Etienne Armingaud

On November 10, 2016, the French Government issued a decree against the financing of terrorism which contains various measures addressing anonymous electronic money [source in French]. This new regulatory measure applies to electronic money issuers as well as their distributors, credit institutions, finance companies, consumers, and to any person who physically transfers money from a certain amount.

In addition to reinforcing the powers of the Ministry of Economic and Financial Affairs agency against money-laundering (TRACFIN) -which will now have access to the wanted person files for the needs of criminal investigations-, the decree removed the duty of care of the financial intermediaries in the absence of any particular suspicion of money laundering and under strict conditions pertaining to electronic money:

  • Money must only be issued for the acquisition of goods and services.
  • The maximum monetary value stored must not exceed EUR 250.
  • These funds must only be used for payments on the national territory.
  • The electronic money device may neither be reloaded through cash nor through electronic money when the initial owner of such money cannot be identified.

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The French take on the blockchain

By Claude-Etienne Armingaud

On March 24, the French National Assembly hosted a day-long conference on “Blockchain: Disruption and Opportunities.”

This event aimed at raising awareness of the French elected representatives and corporate executives on blockchain issues and potential uses for the digital transformation of society as a whole.

The closing statement provided by Emmanuel Macron, the French Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Economy, was subsequently echoed by his announcement on March 29 of the upcoming adaptation of the French finance regulatory framework in order to progressively allow the introduction of the technology.

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