Advertisements of crypto derivatives have been banned in France by the French version of the Financial Conducts Authority (FCA), called AMF.
The ban on such advertising has been imposed citing new anti-corruption law called Sapin 2 that came into force in the country last year. According to the AMF, companies or platforms that offer cryptocurrency derivatives are within the purview of MiFID 2 because of which they need to comply with the authorisation, conduct of business rules, and the EMIR trade reporting obligation to a trade repository.
Further, these crypto derivatives are subject to the provisions of the Sapin 2 law, and notably the ban of advertisements for certain financial contracts. Derivatives in themselves are diverse but the most common thing in them is that they bet on the underlying product usually does not include taking possession of the product itself.
For this reason, a cash-settled cryptocurrency contract may qualify as a derivative, irrespective of the legal qualification of a cryptocurrency according to AMF. So these products have to comply with all sorts of laws, including quite curiously a ban on advertising the products, according to AMF.
The announcement by AMF sends out rather unfriendly signals towards the crypto derivative space and in line with what the French finance minister has already been stating about bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general – that they don’t like them.
There have been reports that 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.