French Regulator Proposes New Regulations And Pilot Programs For Blockchains & Crypto

A leading French financial regulator calls for accelerated focus and development of new crypto regulations around emerging technologies (blockchain, crypto, AI, and data) across the EU.


In a speech by Robert Ophèle, Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) Chairman, during the 5th Annual Fintech and Regulation Afore Consulting conference, French regulators need to take a step forward in pilot programs and creating new laws to govern distributed ledger technology (DLT) and blockchain across the EU.

Ophèle further acknowledged the “digital acceleration” in the financial world due to blockchains and DLTs coming up but stated government intervention is needed to guarantee a level playing field. He further designated the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) as the best regulator to take over crypto regulation and supervision due to entry barriers into the new ecosystem.

According to Robert in his speech, ESMA leading the crypto supervision would ensure the regulator is fully competent on crypto while “building all the expertise in one place.”

Additionally, Ophèle also calls for creating rules on digital assets classified as financial instruments and non-financial instruments as well through the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation. However, to promote technological growth in the DLT industry, he suggests creating a pilot regime. The ‘Pilot regime’ allows crypto companies to be “able to try out and test within a proportionate and clear regulatory framework.”

“Work is needed in MICA to ensure that the technological neutrality principle is respected. As already highlighted for security tokens, we need to ensure that all types of DLT can be used, private and public.”

“Nor should we close the door on decentralized business models by prohibiting or overlooking them.”

The regulatory sandbox will offer companies the chance to operate as traditional money financial services (MFS) and broaden the range of issuers able to benefit from listing their securities on DLT-based infrastructures. He also proposed the sandbox to have an ‘open mind’ while accepting companies' listing to the pilot regime and respecting the “principle of technological neutrality.”

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