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French Financial Regulator Responds to EU’s Crypto Consultation

As the European Commission finished its public consultation on cryptocurrency assets in March, France’s major financial regulator stepped in to express its stance on the matter.

The Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), the stock market regulator in France, has published an official response to the EC consultation, outlining some basic proposals regarding their own vision for crypto assets within the EC’s approach.

In an April 7 statement, the AMF argued that the classification of crypto assets should be based on the existing categories in order to differentiate between crypto assets that qualify as financial instruments and those that do not.

According to a report by Finance Magnates, the AMF also noted that it is still too early to establish a precise classification of crypto assets. The regulator reportedly defines any crypto asset as a “digital asset that may depend on cryptography and exists on a distributed ledger.”

Alongside remarks regarding the classification of crypto assets, the French regulator also proposed to adopt specific provisions for stablecoins — a type of cryptocurrency that is designed to maintain a stable market price through a peg to another asset or basket of assets.

Echoing France’s opposition to Facebook’s proposed Libra digital currency, the AMF outlined its concerns over the impact of the stablecoin on the economy. The regulator wrote:

“This proposal would allow a regulatory framework to apply to any stablecoin regardless of its size […] However, this requires the ability to draw a line between stablecoins which would be concerned by mandatory requirements and other payment tokens only partially covered by mandatory requirements.”

Additionally, the AMF expressed its supportive stance toward the creation of an interbank settlement asset in central bank money to facilitate delivery-versus-payments processes on-chain. In the official notice, the regulator also proposed to create a digital lab at the European level to test security token-related projects in order to overcome the regulatory obstacles.

Cointelegraph contacted the AMF with additional queries but did not receive an immediate response. This story will be updated should they respond.

The EC launched its public consultation for establishing a European framework for markets in crypto assets on Dec. 19, 2019. Open until March 19, 2020, the consultation aims to provide clarity to the classification of crypto assets as well as outline potential uses of crypto and blockchain technology in order to promote digital finance in Europe.

French authorities have been paying close attention to crypto and blockchain-based developments so far. On March 30, France’s central bank officially launched a program to test the integration of a central bank digital currency for interbank settlements. Earlier in March, the AMF announced that it was considering a regulatory sandbox meant to study the impact of security tokens in the European Union.

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