Coinhouse Wins First Crypto License From French Regulator

Crypto trading company Coinhouse has become the first crypto company to be registered with France’s top financial regulator, the Financial Markets Authority (AMF).

The registration means Coinhouse now has a shot at getting banking services in France, which could give the firm cheaper services than the German bank it currently works with.

“It’s a recognition from the AMF that you’re a serious actor and do some strict [know-your-customer] policy,” Coinhouse spokesman Julien Moretto told CoinDesk. 

To receive a registration, Coinhouse had to prove it was capable of freezing assets and making funds available in the case of proven fraud. It also had to hire a compliance controller to detect suspicious financial activity and prove it could use blockchain analysis tools like Scorechain.  

The firm is now raising equity and integrating risk warnings, investment disclaimers and other legal documents to make a bid for the French crypto license. Based on its discussions with the AMF, it expects the regulator to begin issuing licenses by September 2020, Moretto added. 

“The registration will soon be mandatory to do buy/sell and custody activities on cryptocurrency in France, but the license will be important for the brand image,” said Sandrine Lebeau, director of compliance and risk at Coinhouse. “The license will give us the right to do commercials and ads about our services.”

Pas de bébé

In France, the only firms that are required to register with the AMF for anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing reasons are those firms dealing with fiat-to-crypto or crypto-to-fiat services. The requirements come out of guidelines based on France’s PACTE law, one of the first crypto legislative packages passed in Europe in May 2019. 

“I think we improved on security and trust working with the regulator,” Lebeau said. “I don’t know if the compliance is really consumer friendly, but it improves funds security for sure, which is one of our top…

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