French Crypto Companies Must Seek Authorization by 2024 Under New Lawmaker Plans

Crypto companies in France would have to seek authorization from regulators to operate if they are not already registered with the country’s financial regulator by Jan. 1, 2024, under plans adopted by lawmakers at the National Assembly on Tuesday.

The plans offer more leeway than the Senate, which proposed in December to offer a cut-off date of October 2023, in a bid to stop crypto companies abusing new European Union rules known as the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation.

“I propose to take the date of January 1, 2024, to let new entrants have a little more time to ask for their authorization, which is complicated,” as well as offering more time to the Financial Markets Authority to process applications, said Daniel Labaronne, who is holding the pen on the new legislation on behalf of the Assembly’s Finance Committee.

Without the amendment proposed by Labaronne, there would be a “risk of having operators just registering to benefit from the grandfather clause” set out under MiCA, which means they wouldn’t have to gain a full license until around March 2026, Labaronne told the Committee.

The Committee adopted his proposal, which must now be approved by the Assembly next week and negotiated with the Senate.

The Senate’s Herve Maurey proposed tightening the law following the collapse of crypto exchange FTX. Existing French law allows companies to undergo the lighter process of registering, rather than seeking authorization, which requires a fuller series of checks on financial resources and business conduct. While many companies, including Binance and Societe Generale, have registered, none have so far been authorized.

The French crypto industry has reacted with concern to the proposals, arguing they could damage France’s goal of becoming a crypto hub.

Read more: Crypto Industry Hopes Turn to French Legislators as Regulators Back Mandatory License