Illustrative photo: A trade tracks cryptocurrencies, 26 June 2017. Picture credit: Jim Makos (CC BY-ND 2.0)
France’s financial regulator has said that cryptocurrency derivatives require regulatory approval and cannot be marketed online.
“Platforms which offer these products must abide by the authorisation and business conduct rules, and that these products must not be advertised via electronic means,” the AMF said in a news release on 22 February.
The advisory applies to firms offering options, contracts for difference and foreign exchange pegged to cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin. Providers need to follow the EU’s Mifid 2 and Emir rules, as well as France’s Sapin 2 law, the AMF said.
The price of bitcoin surged dramatically last year after CME Group introduced bitcoin futures on its exchanges in the US.
“Over the past few months, the recent cryptocurrency boom has spurred several online trading platforms to offer” such products, the French regulator stated.
According to the Financial Times, the pan-EU regulatory European Securities and Markets Authority “is currently considering whether to ban crypto-CFDs altogether”. The UK will also start its own inquiry into potential cryptocurrency regulation, the FT noted.
Separately, the AMF reported that two-thirds of respondents in a public consultation were in favour of the agency drafting specific rules on initial coin offerings. The AMF said, also on 22 February, that it would “continue work on definition of a specific legal framework for ICOs."