Canada    FinTech Guide    Chapter 15    France


15. Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)
France  France

France is very supportive of ICOs and wants to be a world leader in the area of ICOs. Reservations concern cybersecurity matters. So the regulation incoming by the French security exchange commission (“Autorité des Marchés Financiers” or “AMF”) will probably intend to solve this issue.



Legal Affairs


  • No explicit regulation so far.
  • No obligation, but in practice every issuer publish a white paper.
  • The AMF conducted a public consultation in ICOs about the opportunity to set up an appropriate legal framework.
  • Given the answers of the survey, the AMF Board has decided to continue work on definition of a specific legal framework for ICOs.
  • 3 possible regulatory options:
    • Promote a best practice guide without changing existing legislation (option 1);
    • Extend the scope of existing texts to treat ICOs as public offerings of securities (option 2);
    • Propose new legislation adapted to ICOs (option 3).

The AMF has decided to work on Option 3 with an optional authorization scheme with or without a visa, in order to attract ICOs.

There is no information yet on the matter, whether or not AML or KYC requirements have to be fulfilled with regard to ICOs. But of course lawyers recommend fulfilling the legal obligations relating to AML/ KYC regulation. A majority of issuers have laid down rules on anti-money laundering and fight against the financing of terrorism


Economic Conditions


The market is growing fast, but only 4 operations were concluded successfully in France during 2017. And there are a number which launched. No regulated ICO has yet taken place in France.



Miscellaneous


France wants to be a world leader on ICOs, that’s why the regulation to come from the AMF will certainly be pragmatic and supportive of this business area. As all worldwide business companies have to be very careful regarding cybersecurity.



Contributing Authors

LERINS & BCW Avocats Associés

Christine Vialars
Paris, France


Laurent Julienne
Paris, France

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15. Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)

Disclaimer:
The information in this guide provides a general overview at the time of publication and is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all legal developments nor should it be taken as opinion or legal advice on the matters covered. It is for general information purposes only and readers should take legal advice from a Multilaw member firm.

Publication Date: 1 May 2018