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Crypto Exchange Bitpanda Secures Regulatory Approval in France

Austria-based crypto exchange company, Bitpanda, which recently closed a $52 million Series A funding round, has registered its services in France with the Autorite des marches financiers (AMF).

The new license permits the neobroker offer regulated services in accordance with legislation governing the operations of digital asset service provider (DASPs), namely France’s PACTE law. This is one of the first crypto legislative package passed in Europe.

Founded in 2014, BitPanda is a retail broker for digital assets, including more than 30 cryptocurrencies. According to the company, it has 1.2 million users. It plans to expand into real assets in order to offer a pan-European offering. This expansion has already begun in France, Spain, and Turkey.

The new license comes as Paris is seeking to police crypto activities through introducing a raft of new regulations, including tougher KYC rules for digital currency transactions. French authorities want to prevent anonymity in cryptocurrency transactions thereby placing a ban on anonymous crypto accounts.

France is a leader in this space and a common European regulatory framework is being developed for digital assets. Bitpanda, which offers services to French residents, allows them to buy, hold and sell digital assets like Bitcoin. Registration with the AMF is required to ensure full compliance, BitPanda stated.

France Reshuffles Crypto Regulation

These new guidelines and rules expand on France’s PACTE law to stop money laundering and terrorism financing.

The Pacte Law covers a wide range of measures that cover many aspects of crypto-active players. Current laws require that cryptocurrency exchanges and custodian providers must register as AMFs and receive certification from the French watchdog.

Under the PACTE law, token issuers applying for a visa from the French regulator are required to provide a document that contains all relevant information on the proposed ICO. Investors should understand the risks of the ICO by reviewing the information document and marketing materials.

Previously, France introduced its own guidelines governing the ICOs and similar token sales earlier in 2018 and then proposed legislative amendments to put cryptocurrency-related entities under the legislative purview of its financial watchdog.

The framework carries heavy fines for anyone who fails to comply. Investors will not be reimbursed for losses if they do not comply. Compensation funds that cover traditional investments are also available.

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