Financial market authority, the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), published a press release on March 15, stating that it has blacklisted cryptocurrency and cryptoasset investment websites which unlawfully ask individuals in European countries to invest in cryptocurrencies and digital assets.
France Takes a Strong Stance on Cryptocurrency Websites
According to AMF The “blacklist” comprises of 15 website addresses, which are either intentionally ignoring the French and European law or are unaware of the regulations that are stipulated under the Sapin II law and MiFID
The statement reads:
“The investment proposals highlighting the possibility of financial returns or similar economic effects involve intermediation in miscellaneous assets and are now subject to ex-ante control by the AMF. Consequently, no offer can be directly marketed in France without prior allocation by the AMF of a registration number.”
The notice list furthermore incorporates the names of organizations that unlawfully offered investments in commodities such as diamonds, wine, and rare earth metals.
List of Prohibited Websites
According to the AMF, these websites are as follows, but the list is not exhaustive:
Autorité Des Marchés Financiers (AMF) Detailed Explanation
After an analysis of the legal status of cryptocurrency derivatives by the AMF, it was noted that those platforms offering these commodities must comply with the laws relating to business authorization and conduct. Additionally, these commodities must not be publicized via electronic means as related to the Sapin II law, which strictly prohibits the digital advertising of binary options and certain CFDs which are regarded dangerous for financial investors.
The AMF also considers cash-settled cryptocurrency contracts as a derivative, independent of the legal definition of a cryptocurrency. Subsequently, online platforms offering cryptocurrency derivatives falls under the jurisdiction of the MiFID II and should along these lines conform to the authorisation, conduct of business rules, and the EMIR trade reporting obligation.
Most importantly, the ban of advertisements for certain financial contracts is seen as a greater concern, and thus it is strictly prohibited.
European Regulators Follows Suit
The AMF’s ban follows only weeks after Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority published a similar blacklist of unlawful digital assets sites that are offering their services to potential investors for investment purposes.
While France is utilizing regulations already in place to govern the rapid growing cryptocurrency market, the European Union (EU) has as of late proclaimed that they would also create specific regulations relating to digital currencies. The EU’s Financial Chief, Valdis Dombrovskis, said in a statement last month that regulations need to occur at a global level and if such global response does not happen urgently, they will take up the mantle to ensure that financial regulations are upheld.