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France approves its first initial coin offering

By Philip Smith

The cryptocurrency will be offered over a three-month period from March 1, 2020

France has given the go-ahead for its first initial coin offering.

The French monetary markets regulator, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), gave approval for the ICO to Marseille-based cryptocurrency fundraising platform, French-ICO.

The approval is illustration of how blockchain regulation moves at very different speeds around the world. Many will consider it odd that France is only now having its first ICO when much of the world has lost enthusiasm for such an offering.

The approval allows the firm to launch a crypto coin on March 1 for a three-month period. It is specifically for that one currency and AMF says it is not an official endorsement of the company. Should French-ICO wish to launch others, it will have to seek similar approval.

“The information document approved by the AMF concerns only one ICO over a period that may not exceed six months and is valid only for the period of the offering described in the information document,” the French financial regulator said.

Token sales – in effect fundraising for cryptocurrency projects via trading tokens via the blockchain – are allowed in France but only those approved by the AMF may be marketed directly to the public.

The French parliament approved a framework proposal from the AMF in September, first proposed last summer, which set out how it would approach ICOs. This is significant as it is the latest example of how governments plan to impose a degree of regulation over cryptocurrencies.

FURTHER READING: ICO explained

FURTHER READING: Five big problems with initial coin offerings and how to avoid them

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