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French Regulator Warns Public About Unauthorized Exchanges

law and justice symbol holding bitcoin in front of french flag

Cryptocurrency regulation is a big deal, and governments around the world are stepping up their enforcement on noncompliant companies in the Industry. The latest developments come from France, a nation where the financial regulator has issued a warning and published the names of 15 unauthorized digital asset exchanges. These companies continue to operate and market their services to the public despite the agency’s warnings.

The French Financial Market Regulator – Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) – is an independent public agency tasked with protecting France’s stock market and other financial instruments. One of its most important goals is ensuring that investors have access to material information about investments and companies operating in the sector. The AMF has decided to classify 15 digital asset exchanges as, “unauthorized companies proposing atypical investments without being authorized to do so”.

Atypical investments are financial instruments that aren’t traditional assets (like stocks or bonds for example). On top of cryptocurrencies, these investments include things like wines, paintings, or gemstones. Cryptocurrencies aren’t the only target of the AMF – in fact, the organization has been compiling a list of unauthorized diamond investment platforms since 2017. They are simply expanding their focus to include digital assets.

AMF Approval

To get off this list, the cryptocurrency exchanges will need to get approval from the AMF in accordance with Law No. 2016-1691, a regulation aimed at preventing corruption and ensuring transparency in France’s financial markets. France isn’t the only country cracking down on unauthorized cryptocurrency exchanges. The Financial Services and Markets Authority of Belgium (FSMA) has also taken similar steps, issuing a warning that listed 19 exchanges exhibiting suspicious patterns of behaviour and showing warning signs of fraud.

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