French Regulator Working to Clarify New Crypto Rules, Align With EU

France's financial market regulator will detail new requirements for crypto firms to register in the country, its head, Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani, said Wednesday.

“We will work to clarify these new rules,” Financial Market Authority (AMF) Chair Barbat-Layani told lawmakers on the French Senate’s finance committee of laws voted for on Tuesday, saying her experts would be talking “as of now” with industry representatives.

Barbat-Layani said she would “adapt French crypto license conditions to make them as operationally close as possible to the new European rules,” referring to the Markets in Crypto Assets regulation (MiCA) set to be agreed on imminently by the European Union.

Extra checks on companies’ cybersecurity were a “particularly important” element of a recently approved package of extra checks, Barbat-Layani said, despite protests from crypto lobbyists ADAN that they could prove unworkable for crypto firms to meet in practice.

In a proposal rubber stamped by the French National Assembly Tuesday, lawmakers proposed strengthening the regulatory regime in the wake of the collapse of FTX. Barbat-Layani urged them not to tar the whole industry with the same brush.

“Digital finance shouldn’t be condemned for FTX any more than traditional finance was for Madoff,” she said, referring to a Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Bernie Madoff, who died in prison in 2021.