The French independent financial regulator, Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), has issued a warning to the public that unregulated cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the country are illegal.
AMF is the stock market regulator in France, an independent public body that is responsible for safeguarding investments in financial instruments and in all other savings and investment as well as maintaining orderly financial markets.
According to it, several companies operating without authorization and it has published a list of four transgressors of France’’ current cryptocurrency regulations. Due to recent transparency laws, no investment offer can be marketed in France without approval from the agency.
The websites: bitoraxe.com, solutioncrypto.com, solution-crypto.com, and connect-coin.fr are just four out of 15 that have been recently identified as illegal under French law. Connect-coin.fr has since stopped trading online. Some other websites identified by the AMF, whose role is not just limited to monitoring cryptocurrencies, included one for forex products, one for binary options, and one for other goods including diamonds, wines, and cryptocurrencies.
The AMF as a stock market regulator also handles customer complaints from companies and individuals regarding investment. Recently, it has been increasingly focusing on cryptocurrency issues as digital currency becomes more widely adopted across the country. During the agency’s recent annual report, chairman Robert Ophele commented:
“During the first four months of the year, out of the more than 4,000 requests processed by our Epargne Info-services center, 700 concerned crypto-assets with nearly 250 claims or reports reporting more than EUR 9 million (USD 10.43 million) in losses.”
He added that this is now the most pressing problem that the agency deals with.
France doesn’t expect its legal framework for ICOs to be completed until 2019 and following Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau’s recent comments that new laws are required to cover cryptocurrency exchanges, France is planning to make changes to the current financial law in order to incorporate new technologies, starting with new tax laws governing cryptocurrency announced recently.
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