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France Financial Markets Authority (AMF) Approved first Public initial Coin Offering (ICO)

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Dec, 27 2019

Dec, 27 2019

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French financial markets regulator, Autorite des marches financiers or the Financial Markets Authority (AMF) has approved first public coin offering (ICO) in France. This approval visa is said to be the first of its kind within the European boundaries.
A cryptocurrency fundraising firm dubbed as French ICO has been given a green signal to proceed further. The French ICO has fulfilled all the essential prerequisites imposed by AMF to issue the ICOs. French Financial Markets Authority has sanctioned this approval under the PACTE bill. The approval has been granted until 1 June 2020 and the ICO has been included in the offerings list of the AMF.AMF has further granted permission to sell and promote the ICOs. The sale is scheduled in March 2020 and is capped at $1.1 million.

Conditions for Acquiring Optional Visa

The AMF ensures certain criteria for approving the optional visa to the issuers.

  • The issuer of the tokens must be registered under French legal jurisdiction.  
  • The documents must fulfill the prerequisite of AMF general regulations.
  • The issuer has to assure safeguarding measures and the vigilance process to protect the interests of the ICO investors.
  • The issuer has to assure compliance with AML and anti-finance laws imposed by the government.

Recent Policy framework for ICOs (PACTE Bill)
Over the last year, France has softened its stern approach towards the crypto industry. As a result, in April 2019, the French Parliament has passed the PACTE bill which formulated regulations for the crypto industry. The bill had been dubbed as The Action Plan for Business Growth and Transformation (PACTE). The bill structured legal regulations for Initial Coin offerings and digital asset service providers and reinforced the AMF authority over this sector. It consists of 70 articles, tax measures and regulatory and non-regulatory terms and conditions for the industry. The bill in return provides a guaranteed bank account and an alternative to launch token sales in the countries holding ICO Visa. In its press release, AMF states, “The PACTE law has indeed introduced in France an optical visa regime for fundraising in crypto assets. Only public offerings of so-called utility tokens, which are not considered as financial instruments, are eligible for this optional visa.” The PACTE law has established an optional Visa mechanism for fundraising in digital assets. Public offerings of utility tokens which are not categorized as financial instruments will be considered eligible as optional visa.

AMF’s approval not mandatory for the ICOs
The AMF Visa doesn’t assess the authentication of the ICO in financial, technical and accounting terms. It neither claims appropriateness of the project nor verifies its terms and conditions on white paper. The public itself would be liable to the risks. The approval has not been imposed mandatory on the ICO issuers however the ICOS without a visa would not be entertained for solicitation, sponsorships and any support from the government.

France’s Stern Approach towards Crypto Industry 
Earlier in March this year, the AMF had blacklisted 15 cryptocurrency websites. The illegal websites were deceiving the investors by alluring them with high returns on investments.  

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