The French version of the Financial Conducts Authority (FCA), called AMF, has declared a ban on the advertising of crypto derivatives based on a new anti-corruption law that came into force last year called Sapin 2. AMF says:
“Online platforms which offer cryptocurrency derivatives fall within the scope of MiFID 2 and must therefore comply with the authorisation, conduct of business rules, and the EMIR trade reporting obligation to a trade repository.
Above all, these products are subject to the provisions of the Sapin 2 law, and notably the ban of advertisements for certain financial contracts.”
Derivatives are a diverse field and include futures, options, margins and other more complex financial products. What they usually have in common is that a bet on the underlying product usually does not include taking possession of the product itself.
“A cash-settled cryptocurrency contract may qualify as a derivative, irrespective of the legal qualification of a cryptocurrency,” AMF says, leaving unclear the classification of crypto-settled contracts.
As such, these derivatives have to comply with all sorts of laws, including quite curiously a ban on advertising the products, according to AMF.
It is unclear why AMF thought it was necessary to make such announcement as the conclusion that crypto derivatives are actually derivatives does sound like a tautology.
But, in the wider context, the announcement was made after France gave some unfriendly signals regarding this space, with the French finance minister going so far as to outright publicly say he doesn’t like bitcoin.
That follows rumors last year that an aid to the French president, Macron, might have used bitcoin to buy drugs online.
We haven’t heard much from Macron himself as far as this space is concern, but France is trying to lead G20 level crypto regulations with the backing of Germany.
When the G20 is to be held is unclear, with some suggesting March while some say November, but what is becoming more and more clear is that France is taking a somewhat hardened attitude towards this space.