Austria-based crypto exchange company, Bitpanda, which recently closed a $52 million Series A funding round, has registered its services in France with the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF).
The new license allows the neobroker to offer regulated services under legislation governing operations of digital asset service providers (DASPs), namely France’s PACTE law, one of the first crypto legislative packages passed in Europe.
Founded in 2014, BitPanda is a retail broker for digital assets, including more than 30 cryptocurrencies. The company claims to have onboarded 1.2 million users and plans to expand into real-world assets to build out a pan-European offering, with the expansion already started in France, Spain and Turkey.
The new license comes as Paris is seeking to police crypto activities through introducing a raft of new regulations, including tougher KYC rules for digital currency transactions. French authorities want to prevent anonymity in cryptocurrency transactions thereby placing a ban on anonymous crypto accounts.
“France is taking a special position as a frontrunner in this space, as a common European regulatory framework for digital assets is in the works. As Bitpanda is an entity that is offering services to users with French residency enabling them to hold, buy and sell digital assets such as Bitcoin, registration with the AMF is a requirement to be in full compliance,” BitPanda said.
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The Pacte Law encompasses a very broad range of measures covering many aspects of all crypto-active players. The current laws require cryptocurrency exchanges as well as custodian providers to undergo a mandatory AMF registration and obtain a certification to be granted by the French watchdog.
Under the PACTE law, token issuers applying for a visa from the French regulator are required to provide a document that contains all relevant information on the proposed ICO. This information document and the marketing materials relating to the ICO should be accurate to allow investors to understand the risks associated with the offer.
Previously, France introduced its own guidelines governing the ICOs and similar token sales earlier in 2018 and then proposed legislative amendments to put cryptocurrency-related entities under the legislative purview of its financial watchdog.
Furthermore, the framework comes with hefty fines for those who fail to comply, but will not reimburse investors for their losses as it happens with compensation funds that cover traditional investments.