French Central Bank Governor Pushes for Crypto License

  • The Governor of France’s central bank asked for rigid license requirements for the crypto service provider.
  • MiCA provider of the licensing regime is expected to arrive in 2024.

The Governor of France, Francois Villeroy de Galhau, urged the country to move from optional to mandatory licensing requirements for crypto companies of France.  

On 5 January 2023, Villeroy stated that France ought not to hold for upcoming mandatory licensing by European Union crypto laws to legalize local Digital Asset Service Providers (DASPs).

In 2024, the European Parliament’s Markets in Crypto Assets Bill (MiCA) is expected to potentially come into force to provide regulations and licensing policies for the EU.

The European union’s main legislative proposal to oversee the industry in its 27 member countries—MiCA, is developed within the framework of the digital finance package launched by the European Commission in 2020—digital finance package—the main aim is to facilitate the competitiveness and innovation of the financial sector in the European Union.

The DLT pilot Regime and the Markets in Crypto assets proposal were the first tangible actions undertaken within the European digital finance package which  included covering the issuance  of stablecoins, unbacked crypto assets, trading platforms and wallets of crypto assets.

Crypto businesses are required to be registered with the Financial Market Authority (FMA), the country’s market regulator— to provide crypto trading and custody. 

However, there are 60 AMF registered crypto firms and none of them are licensed as DASP as opting for the DASP license is optional, with those licensed forced to comply with certain requirements in the business organization, business conducts and financial resources.

In December, The amendment was proposed by Herve Maurey, a member of the French Senate finance commission, to eliminate a clause enabling crypto companies to operate without a full license. 

Struggle between European Union MiCA and Crypto License 

Since September 2020, MiCA has been crushing its path through the EU parliament. Whether the MiCA passes into law or  institutes a licensing regime or not—the France law permits the firms to employ without a license until 2026.

On October 2022, the crypto framework was passed by the European Parliament committee on Economic and monetary affairs, confirming that the committee had accepted the MiCA legislation, a result of trilogy negotiation between the EU council, the European Commission and the European Parliament. This confirmation Tweet came from a European Parliament Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) member, Stefan Berger.

In November 2022, The plenary vote for the landmark Pan-European crypto legislation—MiCA, was rescheduled from the end of 2022 to February 2023. Memberof the European Parliament, Stefan Berger, spelled out that the ground objective for the delay was the matter of essential technicalilty and the lawyer linguists had huge amount of work given the length of legal text.