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French Regulator Blacklists 15 Crypto Websites
In its pursuit to protect people from Frauds, French Stock Market Regulator ‘The Autorite des Marches Financiers’ (AMF), blacklisted 15 cryptocurrency and crypto-asset investment websites. AMF is adding the offending platforms to its existing "liste noir," which already includes businesses that unlawfully offer investments in commodities like diamonds, rare earth metals and wine.
As per the press release, these companies are either deliberately flouting French and European law or are unaware of regulations under the “Sapin II” law and the “MiFID”. The AMF believes that cash-settled contracts such as these should be considered as derivatives. Therefore, they fall under the legal requirements of the EU’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID). The announcement explained that,
“The investment proposals highlighting the possibility of financial returns or similar economic effects involve intermediation in miscellaneous assets and are now subject to ex ante control by the AMF. Consequently, no offer can be directly marketed in France without prior allocation by the AMF of a registration number.”
Press Release also lists 15 companies who continued to advertise and market their services as investment opportunities even after alerts from AMF of their regulatory violations. Most of these violators are situated in the UK. Few of the websites in this list of 15 are as under:
The Regulators also cautioned Public by saying, “Don’t invest in that which you don’t understand.”
The French blacklist is similar to the ban put in place by Belgium just last month. In Belgium, the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) also named a group of websites deemed to be illegally going after potential investors in Belgium. And this is not the first time French are policing the cryptocurrency space, last year the Governor of the Bank of France ‘Francois Villeroy de Galhau’ issued a warning on the high risks of investing in Bitcoin.