PARIS, France — Crypto companies that fled regulatory uncertainty in the U.S. have been welcomed by French officials who boast a regulatory structure that is relatively predictable.

As of Tuesday, the European Union member has around 74 crypto companies registered. This number could rise to 100 as firms try to get ahead of the EU’s Markets in Crypto Assets regulations.

Benoit de Juvigny (Secretary General of the Autorite des marches financières, AMF) told reporters on Tuesday that France is proud to be a pioneer with the crypto asset service provider regime known as PSAN. This was legislated by the AMF in 2019.

He added: “If American players wish to benefit from the French regime in the short-term, as well as the European arrangements starting 2025, they are most welcome.” “We have good relationships and discussions with our U.S. colleagues.”

It is only relatively recently that France has achieved the legal certainty it now appears to have. In January, attorneys warned that the Senate’s legislative amendments – which were eventually watered-down – would kill any innovation.

French legislators are still debating what types of crypto social influencers they should be allowed to promote. The EU has not yet decided how to regulate financial service providers that do not have a central authority. Juvigny stated the AMF would produce a white paper in the next few weeks with some suggestions.

The legal framework in the U.S. is essentially nailed down. This contrasts sharply with what’s happening across the Atlantic. Recently, players such as Bittrex, Cobase, and others have threatened to leave the U.S. citing an uncertain regulatory environment due to active regulatory enforcement combined with the lack of any obvious prospect for a crypto-law from Washington.

France is predictable and stable but it’s not easy or straightforward.

Seventy four companies, including Binanceand Bitstamp have been granted a registration, demonstrating compliance with basic governance. If they have the capital to do so, firms can apply for a license. However, no firm has done this yet.

As part of new transitional measures, which were agreed upon earlier this year, companies that apply as of July, will be subject to a “reinforced registration” in which they must prove they are equipped with resilient IT systems, and have a policy on conflict of interest. MiCA, which is set to come into effect in 2025 and grant the right to service the pan-European markets, will also include services like crypto investment, portfolio management, advice, etc.

De Juvigny admits that the web of four coexisting regimes can be complex. However, officials are eager to dismiss complaints from industry about requirements which are difficult to meet and excessively long procedures.

Officials say that, contrary to industry concerns, it is possible for crypto companies to be commercially insured according to AMF standards. Stephane Pontoizeau is a director of the AMF, responsible for overseeing market infrastructure, intermediaries and other financial institutions. He told reporters, “I have seen the contracts myself.”

Pontoizeau added that those who study the AMF guidelines and do their homework will be able to acquire a new AMF status within a few short months. Those who take longer are often not in good order.

Pontoizeau stated that there are dozens of companies waiting to be registered in France. This could lead to around 100 companies being on the “starting line” before MiCA takes effect. However, some may only serve the French market or have their headquarters in another EU country.

For some, France’s rigor is the key. Take Circle for example, a stablecoin issuer that has applied to the AMF for registration and also said it wants to apply for a license.

Teana Baker-Taylor, Circle’s Vice-President for Policy and Regulatory Strategies, told CoinDesk that the AMF, along with the ACPR (the arm of the French Central Bank responsible for vetting cryptocurrency companies’ money laundering) compliance, has a “strong reputation” as a market regulator who is both forward-thinking and manages risks well. It’s not a jurisdiction that is light-handed.

Read more: EU Crypto Industry Applauds MiCA, But Looks at What’s Next


The following quotations have been translated.

Nikhilesh De.