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A crypto business owned by banking group Société Générale has become the first entity in France to be licensed by the country’s financial regulator as a digital asset provider.
The approval of SG Forge, an investment firm which operates a digital assets platform, is the highest level of French regulatory certification currently possible for businesses in the space.
The current system of crypto regulation operated by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) has two tiers: crypto firms are required to complete basic registration with the regulator in order to offer their services, but they can also opt to go through a more stringent process to secure a full license.
Although more than 80 companies are currently registered with the AMF, none had secured a full license until SG Forge’s approval on Tuesday.
According to a register on the AMF’s website, SG Force has been approved as a digital asset service provider (DASP) to operate in four areas including custody and trading.
“With the DASP license approval, Societe Generale – FORGE confirms its pioneering role in the crypto assets ecosystem,” Jean-Marc Stenger, SG Forge’s CEO, said in a statement on Wednesday.
“This step will allow us to continue supporting our institutional clients wishing to benefit from services on digital assets that meet the highest standards of compliance and banking security.”
French crypto regulations and MiCA
The French system has attracted debate during the past year, as some lawmakers try to bring local regulations in line with Europe-wide ones ahead of the implementation of EU rules.
Politicians approved a compromise in March that would see companies that are already registered with the AMF able to continue operating with just the basic approvals, but new entrants to the market would have to secure a full license.
The obligations that firms face to secure France’s enhanced form of authorization are similar to those that will be expected once the European Union’s Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation comes into force next year.
As part of the transition from domestic to Europe-wide rules, the AMF said in April it was looking into a possible “fast-track” route for registered entities to get them MiCA-compliant.
In its statement on Wednesday, SG Forge said that by becoming a fully-licensed firm, it was anticipating the implementation of MiCA.