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French Financial Markets Witness Sharp Rise in Crypto-related Mediations

In a recently published annual report, the AMF ombudsman highlights the crypto sector's rising dominance of France's financial landscape

Shashank Bhardwaj
Published: Jun 16, 2023 10:54:37 AM IST
Updated: Jun 16, 2023 10:57:12 AM IST

French Financial Markets Witness Sharp Rise in Crypto-related MediationsImage: Shutterstock

In the fast-paced realm of digital assets, France is experiencing the double-edged sword of progress. As the adoption of digital assets continues to gain momentum, the number of registered digital asset service providers (DASPs) has skyrocketed, accompanied by a surge in mediations related to these assets. In its recently published 2022 annual report, the prestigious French stock market regulator Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) highlighted these developments and the difficulties in ensuring efficient regulatory oversight in this quickly evolving field.

With the first-ever inclusion of a dedicated section on digital assets in the report, the AMF ombudsman acknowledges the sector's increasing significance in France's financial landscape. Despite a marginal decrease in the overall number of cases handled by the ombudsman, mediation requests linked to digital assets experienced a notable upswing. The figure rose from 44 cases in 2021 to 54 in 2022, indicating a growing need for conflict resolution within this dynamic arena.

Simultaneously, the report reveals a remarkable surge in the number of registered DASPs, more than doubling from 28 to 59, signalling the expanding presence of digital asset services in the country.

In response to the need for robust oversight, the AMF has announced plans to strengthen DASP registration requirements in July. This proactive measure anticipates the forthcoming Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) legislation, establishing a comprehensive regulatory framework for digital assets across the European Union (EU). By harmonising regulations and bolstering investor protection, the MiCA legislation aims to create a level playing field and enhance market integrity.

However, it is important to clarify that the AMF ombudsman does not intervene in cases involving scams, as these fall under specific regulations governing crypto assets or the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) for derivative-related issues. The report sheds light on common issues the ombudsman addresses, with misunderstandings regarding staking terms emerging as a recurring concern.

France finds itself at a pivotal juncture, grappling with the opportunities and challenges of the digital asset revolution. The rising number of mediations and the surge in registered DASPs serve as a wake-up call for effective regulatory measures to strike the delicate balance between fostering innovation, safeguarding investor interests, and upholding market integrity. As the nation charts its course, a robust and responsible digital asset landscape becomes paramount to thrive amidst the ever-evolving complexities.

Shashank is the founder of yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash

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