It was a measure expected since the end of last year, and immediately with the beginning of 2023, in an attempt to anticipate new European Union laws, the French Financial Markets Authority (AMF) wants to force cryptocurrency companies to apply for a license if they are not already registered in the country. In this desire it joins what the Central Bank and, most importantly, the country’s Senate have long advocated.

Last November, the Minister of Finance had confirmed the desire that would like France to play an increasingly strategic role in Europe to the extent that he declared, “We want France to be the European hub of the cryptocurrency ecosystem,” and about the Old Continent he had expressed himself thus: “We want the European Union to become the first economic zone in the world for the structuring and organization of the cryptocurrency market.

In this direction AMF President Barbat-Layani seems to support a move proposed last year by the French Senate, which would oblige cryptocurrency companies to seek regulatory recognition in anticipation of the European Union’s new regulation of crypto asset markets (MiCA) by October 1, 2023: “The AMF, like the Parliament, is calling for an accelerated move to a mandatory licensing regime for unregistered cryptocurrency service providers,” he said.

Currently, many companies have registered, but no licenses have been issued voluntarily. 

Registration involves checks on corporate governance and compliance with anti-money laundering regulations, but the Senate’s legal amendment requiring all unregistered cryptocurrency companies operating in the country to apply for a license has been opposed by the French government and will be debated by the National Assembly’s Finance Committee next week, Jan. 17.

So we await the decisions of transalpine authorities who want to regulate the sector both to maintain control and as a mandatory step for taxation.

About this point, Finance Minister Le Maire recently said, “We want to use the year 2023 to deepen our reflection with stakeholders in order to identify whether new adaptations to tax legislation are necessary,” and stresses that there is no need to resort to what is already in place for the financial sector: “A direct alignment with share taxation is not necessarily a desirable goal.