Coinbase Granted France Crypto License Pursues Europe Expansion

On Thursday, a representative confirmed that Coinbase, a crypto exchange, managed to register with the French markets regulator. This paved the path for the company to extend its services in another crucial European market. France’s AMF regulator offered a virtual asset service provider (VASP) approval to the exchange, which is consent to run digital currency services in the nation.

In a statement Thursday, the firm revealed the Virtual Asset Service Provider is going to permit Coinbase to provide custody of digital assets, purchase or sell assets in legal tender, run a digital asset trading platform, and trade digital assets against other digital assets.

Coinbase Perceives Approval in France Critical Gateway into EU Market

Similar to other regulators, French regulators have been seeking to catch up with the rise of new technologies such as blockchain and crypto. In this case, they are balancing their potential in enhancing trading and payment systems while also seeking to ensure clients’ protection.

The European Union (EU) has been seeking to unveil its Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) law, which is going to establish a coordinated structure for crypto forms to run in a controlled manner in the coalition.

Under this regulation, instead of acquiring registration in each European Union market, crypto firms will finally be in a position to utilize their VASP permit in one nation and ‘passport’ in other nations to provide their services in the European Union.

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Coinbase Decries Harsh Regulatory Context in US

The virtual asset service provider registration illustrates a significant move from Coinbase to extend its services to Europe. This happens at a critical time with the exchange encountering a more indeterminate regulatory environment in its home nation. Recently, United States regulators have implemented ruthless actions against crypto firms.

Last month, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) reached an agreement with Binance, a crypto behemoth, which resulted in the resignation of the CEO and payment of more than $4B by the firm. The CEO confessed that he failed to implement interventions to avert money laundering at the company.

In the meantime, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has led a vigorous drive against the sector, focusing on crypto firms with stern enforcement interventions. This includes cases against Binance and Coinbase that claim the companies are participating in unlawful securities dealings.

According to the SEC, many crypto tokens are securities, a grouping that would need them to acquire registration from the regulator. Additionally, it would evoke the need for ample transparency from firms as well as token providers. Financial revelations and more paperwork would also be required.

Coinbase has criticized the Securities and Exchange Commission, claiming it has strived to ensure it adheres to financial guidelines. The firm wants new guidelines, particularly for crypto in the United States, to eliminate ‘regulation by enforcement.’ This entails regulators imposing penalties in individual cases instead of establishing vivid guidelines.

France Emerging a Regional Crypto Hub

Recently, France has been situating itself as a technology leader, touting its expertise in technologies such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI). This is part of President Emmanuel Macron’s efforts to convert the nation into an international technology center. 

Over five years, the nation has dedicated investments worth €34B ($36.5B), which includes state financing and subsidies. This strategy is part of its ‘France 2030’ plan to make the nation a ‘Web3’ leader.

The nation hosts Ledger, a primary crypto custody services provider whose last valuation was $1.4B. Separately, Binance, Circle, and consider Paris their European center. Lately, the AMF offered Circle, which offers USD Coin, its French VASP license. 

France is witnessing more crypto adoption amid a drop in prices due to several slumps and insolvencies.

Toluna, a data company, shows that 10% of French adults presently possess crypto assets, while 24% intend to purchase, sell, or trade crypto over the next year. 

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