The French Council of Ministers has approved a series of new measures to combat the anonymity of cryptocurrency transactions. Anonymous accounts are banned from crypto exchanges, which are now subject to stricter know-your-customer requirements. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire says the changes are necessary to combat terrorist financing.
France is tightening up crypto surveillance
The French Council of Ministers last week approved a regulation that contains a series of measures to tighten up the surveillance of cryptocurrency activities. The regulation, which will enter into force in six months, was presented by the French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, together with Ministers Sébastien Lecornu and Olivier Dussopt.
La Maire tweeted Wednesday, “We need to dry up all terrorist financing circuits for the smallest euro … we presented an order to the cabinet this morning that would allow it to step up the fight against the anonymity of crypto asset transactions.” According to the press release of the three ministers:
This regulation strengthens the fight against the anonymity of transactions in digital assets by including providers of digital asset services… among the entities with a ban on keeping anonymous accounts.
The measures of the regulation will be specified in the upcoming decisions released this week, according to local media. All French cryptocurrency exchanges will be required to equip themselves with a more rigorous know-your-customer (KYC) system.
Crypto exchanges will have to request two IDs from their customers starting from the first dollar spent, instead of the previous minimum limit of 1,000 euros. The ID requirements are a SEPA transfer accompanied by proof of identity. In addition, all exchanges, including those that do not offer fiat trading pairs, must register with an administrative body, likely the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), the French financial markets regulator.
However, the new requirements have raised concerns that non-European customers will not be able to register on French cryptocurrency exchanges because they do not have a European bank account, thus denying French startups participation in the global crypto market.
“We are aware that this enhanced identification is penalizing companies,” a ministerial source told the Capital publication. She added that “the decree will therefore take effect in the spring” so that companies have several months to comply.
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