Details of new cryptocurrency measures endorsed by France

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Council of Ministers of France endorsed an ordinance including a series of measures to tighten the surveillance of cryptocurrency transactions. The ordinance, which will enter into force after six months, was submitted by the French Minister of Finance, Bruno Le Maire, along with ministers Sébastien Lecornu and Olivier Dussopt.
La Maire tweeted Wednesday: “We must dry up all the terrorist financing circuits for the smallest euro … we presented to the Council of Ministers this morning an order making it possible to strengthen the fight against the anonymity of crypto-asset transactions.” Three ministers stated:
“This ordinance strengthens the fight against the anonymity of transactions in digital assets by including digital asset service providers … among the entities having the ban on keeping anonymous accounts.”
According to local media, the ordinance’s measures will be specified in the upcoming decrees to be released this week. All French cryptocurrency exchanges need to equip themselves with a more rigorous know-your-customer (KYC) system.
Cryptocurrency exchanges will have to request two proofs of identity from their clients from the first euro spent, instead of the previous 1,000 euro minimum limit. The ID requirements will be a SEPA transfer accompanied by an identity document. Moreover, all exchanges, such as those that do not provide fiat trading pairs, will have to register with an administrative body, likely the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), France’s financial markets regulator.
However, the new requirements raise concerns that non-European clients cannot register on French cryptocurrency exchanges because they do not have a European bank account, thus depriving French startups of participating in the global cryptocurrency market.
“We are aware that this reinforced identification penalizes companies,” a ministerial source was quoted by the Capital publication as saying. She continued: “The decree will therefore come into force in the spring” so companies have several months to comply.

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