FR - Digital Assets Service Providers: Registration and license
On 22 September 2020, the AMF published a document explaining its expectations regarding the key points of the digital asset service provider regime created under the law of 22 May 2019, known as the PACTE law, which created an innovative regime for crypto-assets by establishing a status of digital asset service provider in France, covering a wide variety of activities.
This regime provides for mandatory registration with the AMF for some participants and an optional license system. Only licensed DASPs may engage in direct marketing. Registration with the AMF is mandatory for two types of services: the purchase/sale of digital assets in legal tender (for example, exchanging bitcoins for euros) and the custody of digital assets for third parties (custody of private keys for clients with the ability to use them on their behalf).
Foreign-based participants who provide digital asset services in France must register and be established in France or in a Member State of the European Union or of the European Economic Area. However, service providers who apply for license must be established in France, at least via a subsidiary or a branch in the country. The document also sets out the obligations regarding anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism, as well as the obligation to verify the identity of clients.