The French financial watchdog has announced the approval of an initial coin offering (ICO). The first French ICO approval comes after the country passed a new law to regulate crypto services and ICOs.
France’s finance authority, Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), has issued an “ICO visa” to a cryptocurrency fundraising platform named French-ICO. In a statement, the regulator says French-ICO has met the minimum guarantees required by law, including a white paper that investors can understand.
ICO visas are intended to minimize risk to investors. The AMF requires applicants to demonstrate that the they have provided all relevant information about the sale, as well as the risks involved. Issuance of an AMF ICO visa does not represent an endorsement of the company or its product.
The AMF is authorized to approve public offerings for utility tokens only. Applicants must be registered entities in France. They are also required to have procedures for securing investor funds and comply with strict anti-money laundering (AML) rules. The ICO must take place within six months of approval.
The legislation that enabled the first French ICO approval, passed on December 18, is part of the country’s regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies termed the Action Plan for Corporate Growth and Transformation (PACTE). It is one of the most comprehensive legal frameworks of its kind. The PACTE law provides legal certainty in return for being regulated by the AMF. France still allows unregistered ICOs, but the issuers are not permitted to promote the sale to potential investors.
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