France approves the first ICO (Initial Coin Offering)

France approves the first ICO (Initial Coin Offering) - bitcoin france 990x566The French financial market regulator, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), obtained its first initial coin offer approval (ICO). While token sales remain legal as a fundraising option in France, only those that have been approved by the AMF can be marketed directly to the public.

AMF announced Wednesday that it had approved the first public offering of coins from the transalpine country. French law no. 2019-486 of 22 May 2019, also known as the Business Growth and Transformation Action Plan (Pacte) law, introduced a specific regime for cryptocurrencies and ICOs in France. Adopted on April 11, the law offers issuers the opportunity to obtain approval for their token sales from the AMF.

The issuer whose ICO has been approved is a company called French-ICO. According to his website, the public offering of the token should start on March 1st and end on June 1st. The regulatory authority said:

"The AMF approval will be valid until the end of the subscription period scheduled for June 1, 2020."

The AMF stressed that it will issue approval to ICOs, not their broadcasters. "The information document approved by the AMF concerns only an ICO for a period that cannot exceed six months and is valid only for the offer period described in the information document", clarified the French financial regulator. On its website, the AMF displays an ICO white paper that has been approved and a blacklist of those who publish inaccurate or misleading information or who have withdrawn their approval.

ICO regulation in France

The new regime introduced by the Pacte law "intends to promote the development of ICOs," specified the AMF, adding that it applies only to the issue of utility tokens and does not apply to offers of security tokens (STO).

An issuer wishing to launch an ICO may apply for AMF approval and meet a number of criteria. First, it must be incorporated as a legal entity established or registered in France. Secondly, its white paper must be prepared in accordance with article 712-2 of the AMF general regulation and the AMF DOC-2019-06 instructions.

It is necessary to implement a procedure to monitor and safeguard the funds raised by the ICOs and to establish a system to guarantee the respect of its money laundering and the financing of terrorist obligations. AMF stressed:

"Although this approval is optional and ICOs without AMF approval will therefore continue to be legal, only public offers that have received AMF approval can be marketed directly to the public in France."

Anne Maréchal, director of AMF's legal affairs, believes that "Optional approval is a good compromise to attract serious ICO and innovation projects to France, while ensuring investor protection," said the regulatory authority.

What do you think of France's ICO approval system? Would it be the case that Italy also does something? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.