Crypto and Blockchain: The AMF takes a further step towards regulation

On March 23, the blockchain market infrastructure pilot scheme of the EU had entered into force. The regime in question allows several facilities for service providers related to this technology and cryptos. Knowing thatit exempts the actors from several constraints temporarily. For the AMF, the hour of innovation has come.

An AMF increasingly open to new technologies?

Bruno Le Maire, current French Minister of Economy and Finance, has made no secret of his ambition to make France a « European hub of the crypto-asset ecosystem » last October. As a branch associated with this ministry, the Autorité des marchés financiers has a duty to align itself with the guidelines of the boss.

No doubt that the AMF had to relax as time passed. Between March 17, 2020, day of registration as a PSAN of Coinhouse SAS and July 17, 2023, day of entry of three fintech in its list, 90 actors benefited from a carte blanche to operate throughout France.

And even more, on July 18, the AMF granted the Grail: PSAN approval at Societe Generale – Forge.

This burst of flexibility had to lead the AMF to readjust a few legal elements with a view to promoting blockchain and financial securities. Her article dated July 26 made mention of work carried out by the High Legal Committee of the Paris Financial Center (HCJP). As the reforms made by this institution seem conducive to adapting French law to the pilot regime in Brussels, the AMF deemed it useful to get down to business: testing.

The law of March 9, 2023 on various provisions for adaptation to European Union law (DDADUE) has, in a first step, carried out two major amendments to Articles L. 211-3 and L. 211-7 of the Monetary and Financial Code, on the terms of representation of financial securities. These changes to securities law open up the possibility of registering bearer securities in a shared electronic recording device (DEEP), such as the blockchainunder the pilot scheme. »

Thus, the modifications concern the following registrations:

  • as nominative financial security enrolled in DEEP from Ordinance No. 2009-15 of January 8, 2009 (and in accordance with Ordinance No. 2017-1674 of December 8, 2017, known as the “Blockchain Ordinance”) » ;
  • Or as a bearer financial security registered in DEEP from the DDADUE law under the conditions set by the pilot scheme “.

At this time, no word on Bitcoin (BTC) EFTs.

Evolution of the rights of French titles

The AMF also noted the existence of the ” decree no. 2023-421 of May 31, 2023 on adaptation of securities law to the settlement on a pilot scheme for market infrastructures based on distributed ledger technology (DLT, such as a DEEP) “. This decree aims to:

  • to adapt the regulatory provisions to any legislative revisions;
  • to clarify the possibility for a holder of bearer financial securities registered in a shared electronic recording device (DEEP) validated by the pilot scheme;
  • to authorize a third party to keep an owner’s cryptographic keys under the aegis of the AMF.

Lastly, the financial regulator highlighted the “ possibility of using titles in registered form and registered in a DEEP, as part of the pilot scheme “.

At this stage, the AMF has not yet mentioned the term “crypto ETF” or “Bitcoin ETF”. But we hope that it would push its tests towards these new assets given the race launched by BlackRock, Valkyrie and others on the other side of the Atlantic. And by the way, Europe too saw the launch of BCOIN, its first Bitcoin Spot ETF lately.

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