The French National Assembly has voted in favor of legislating uncompromising licensing rules for new digital asset firms in order to harmonize local laws with recommended European Union standards.
The vote was passed with one hundred and nine votes (over sixty percent) in favor to seventy one (around forty percent) against. The French Senate has already passed the bill, which now goes to President Emmanuel Macron, who has fifteen days to either approve or reject it.
If the new law is passed, it would compel France-based digital asset service providers to act in accordance with stricter AML rules, show that customer funds are segregated, stick to new guidelines on reporting to regulators and provide comprehensive risk and conflict of interest disclosures as a means to reinforce consumer protection.
Nonetheless, the contents of the bill would not apply to the sixty digital asset firms registered with the Financial Markets Authority, the nation’s financial regulator. These companies will continue to comply with the Financial Markets Authority’s rules until the likely passing of the European Union’s own virtual asset regulations with the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) bill.
Notably, Binance is among the sixty companies registered with the Financial Markets Authority, which recently started piloting in-store payments in France with the cloud-based payment platform Ingenico via Binance Pay.
Francois Villeroy de Galhau, the governor of Bank of France, also pushed the agenda in a 5th January speech to members of the finance domain in Paris.
Similar to several regulators around the world, Villeroy de Galhau cited the requirement to respond to the recent turmoil in the digital asset market as the motive behind the bill, which he intends to come into effect as soon as possible.
While the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) will likely serve as the blueprint for digital asset market regulation in the European Union, he added that France simply could not wait around for the more detailed laws enacting the licensing regime on virtual asset service providers.
The European Union is set to finally vote on MiCA regulation in the month of April after 2 consecutive deferrals. A successful aftereffect would probably see the highly anticipated virtual currency laws come into force sometime during the year 2024.
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