The French financial markets authority: L’Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), has recently updated its blacklist of businesses that provide services entangling investors in fraudulent schemes. About 21 names were added on the list, and most of them belong to the grey segment of the crypto industry, as well as offering investment opportunities in initial coin offerings (ICOs), cryptocurrency trading or mining projects. The common factor between these entities is that none of them has authority to operate in the sector. The AMF noted in its official announcement that the list is updated regularly but warns that new actors appear all the time.
In March, French authorities had blacklisted 15 online platforms that were suspected of similar offenses, after which came the move from AMF. In July, it was stated by AMF that digital asset investments are a risk to French citizens as they could be offered by scammers. The warning was included by the regulatory body in its financial industry risk assessment report. The agency, despite its firm stand on the issue, admitted that the lack of reliable data fragilizes its efforts to really point out the risks associated with this type of financial activities.
The fact that cryptocurrencies and crypto-related products are not yet fully covered by the current legal definitions in the country’s legislation renders the task of French regulators more difficult. They are neither a currency nor financial instruments, following the French law. It is also not clear, which particular state institution is responsible and competent to perform and oversight functions.
The AMF still concluded earlier this year that crypto derivatives should be subject to the rules governing financial instruments under the Monetary and Financial Code of France. When it comes to the acts of approval of entities that are selling these products, and also the regulations governing their operations, the same law is being applied.