France Warns of 15 Unauthorized Cryptocurrency Investment Platforms
The French financial regulator has issued a warning and published a list of 15 unauthorized cryptocurrency exchange and investment platforms. These companies keep marketing to the French public despite the agency’s warnings.
France Warns of Unauthorized Crypto Platforms
The Autorit? des March?s Financiers (AMF) issued a warning on Thursday regarding cryptocurrency platforms that have been blacklisted by the agency. The AMF is France’s stock market regulator, an independent public body responsible for safeguarding investments in financial instruments and other savings as well as maintaining orderly financial markets.
Along with the warning, the agency published a list of 15 cryptocurrency companies, which, it says, are “unauthorized companies proposing atypical investments without being authorized to do so.” Examples of such investments are “Diamonds, rare earths, wine or ‘crypto assets,’” the AMF wrote, adding that it has been providing a list of unauthorized diamond investments platforms since July of last year. In December, it decided to add “other miscellaneous assets” to this list, which includes “companies proposing to invest in ‘crypto assets’, some of which are presented as cryptocurrencies.”
Recently, Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) also issued a similar warning, listing 19 cryptocurrency platforms that it had received complaints about and show signs of fraud. Like FSMA, the AMF emphasized that its list is neither complete nor exhaustive of all platforms that do not comply with the country’s regulations.
Approval by AMF Required
The addition of cryptocurrency platforms to AMF’s list is in accordance with “Law No. 2016-1691 of 9 December 2016 on transparency, the fight against corruption and the modernisation of economic life (the ‘Sapin II’ law),” the regulator explained, adding that:
Consequently, no offer [of miscellaneous assets] can be directly marketed in France on without prior allocation by the AMF of a registration number.
The regulator says that the 15 companies it has listed “keep advertising and/or marketing to the French public” despite “the warning of the AMF regarding this new regulation.”
They are akj-crypto, bank-crypto, bcoin-bank, bit-crypto, boursebitcoin, crypteo, cryptobankweb, crypto-major, cryptopartnersinvest, crypto2.bnd-group, crypto.private-finances, ecs-solutions, ether-invest, krakenaccess, and minedecrypto.
Safety Investing Guidelines
The AMF also reminds investors of various safety guidelines before investing. “No advertising materials should make you overlook the fact that high returns always involve high risk,” the regulator began, adding that investors should:
Learn as much as you can about the company or intermediary trying to sell you a product (authorisation/certification, company history, location of head offices, etc.)…only invest in a product you understand.
In addition, the regulator urges investors to ask themselves “how, and by whom, the purchase price or selling price of the advertised product is set, and find out the precise terms and timeline for selling the product, especially in cases where the product invests in an asset class with low liquidity.”