French central banker pushes mandatory crypto firm licensing for 2023

Quick Take

  • Bank of France governor François Villeroy de Galhau called for switching to a mandatory licensing regime for crypto firms in 2023.
  • The central banker wants to be ahead of EU-wide crypto regulation, which is expected to start rolling out in 2024.

Bank of France Governor François Villeroy de Galhau is looking to tighten the country’s grip on companies providing crypto services this year — ahead of EU-wide regulation expected to roll out in 2024. 

“The disruption seen in 2022 is nourishing one basic conviction: France should switch as soon as possible to the compulsory authorization of DASPs (digital asset service providers) rather than simply requiring their registration,” Villeroy said in a speech on Thursday.

The French financial regulator, Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), currently offers registration to crypto companies looking to legally provide services, as well as optional licensing. The coming year may enforce mandatory licensing provisions for crypto asset service providers.

Crypto behemoth Binance is one of the companies which was granted the French license earlier this year, as well as Société Générale, one of France's leading banks.

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Over the past year, a series of collapses and market slides in the crypto industry has caught the attention of regulators worldwide. Following the most recent downfall of crypto exchange giant FTX, policymakers urged the need to speed up the implementation of the EU-wide Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation. Financial regulators responsible for drafting the implementation laws in the coming year responded that their time is already pressed.

The MiCA regulatory framework outlines comprehensive licensing rules for crypto firms. Many policy experts have said that MiCA could have mitigated the impact of the FTX collapse on Europeans, had it already been in place.

Disclaimer: Beginning in 2021, Michael McCaffrey, the former CEO and majority owner of The Block, took a series of loans from founder and former FTX and Alameda CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. McCaffrey resigned from the company in December 2022 after failing to disclose those transactions.

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Inbar is a reporter covering crypto policy and regulation with a focus on Europe. Before The Block, she worked with several publications in Brussels including The Parliament Magazine and Are We Europe. Inbar holds a bachelor's degree in international relations from University College Utrecht and a master's degree in international politics from KU Leuven.


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