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France to approve first crypto-issuers as new rules loom

France’s financial watchdog is poised to approve a first tranche of cryptocurrency-related companies under new rules on digital coins, some of the first such regulations to be launched by a major economy, reports Trend with reference to Reuters.


Under the rules, set to come into force late this month, crypto-related firms will voluntarily abide by standards on capital requirements and consumer protection and pay tax in France, in exchange for approval from the regulator.


“France is a precursor. We will have a legal, tax and regulatory framework,” said Anne Marechal, executive director for legal affairs at the Financial Markets Authority.


“We are in talks with three or four candidates for initial coin offerings (ICOs),” she said, referring to companies that raise funds by issuing digital tokens. The watchdog is also in talks with several other cryptocurrency exchange platforms, custodians and fund managers, she added.


Cryptocurrencies are subject to patchy rules across the world, with the technology remaining mostly unregulated. While some smaller countries from Belarus to Malta have brought in specific laws, major economies have tended to applying existing financial rules.


Global scrutiny of cryptocurrencies has grown since Facebook (FB.O) unveiled plans last month for its Libra digital coin. The entry of the social media giant to cryptocurrencies has raised concerns among politicians and financial watchdogs in the United States and elsewhere over privacy, consumer protection and the potential for systemic risks.

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