December 21, 2023 at 17:30 GMTModified date: December 22, 2023 at 07:59 GMT
December 21, 2023 at 17:30 GMT

Circle bags conditional registration in France

Circle has obtained conditional registration as a digital asset service provider (DASP) in France.

Circle bags conditional registration in France

Stablecoin issuer Circle has obtained conditional registration as a digital asset service provider (DASP) in France.

The green light was given by the country’s regulator, the French Financial Markets Authority (‘Autorité des Marchés Financiers’ (AMF)).

The news accompanied the announcement of the appointment of payments industry veteran, Coralie Billmann, as the company’s Head of French Operations.

She will spearhead Circle’s licensed operations in the country. However, the appointment remains subject to regulatory approval.

The official press release from Circle stated:

“With a strong compliance and finance background, Billmann has held board directorships with 3S Money and PayPal. Billmann will play an instrumental role in enabling MiCA readiness and passportability for Circle’s products and services.”

What’s next for the stablecoin issuer?

In order to start operations in France, Circle now needs to secure approval as a payment services provider (PSP) or registration as an agent of a PSP in the country. 

The lifting of the condition associated with its recent registration will happen after Circle obtains an Electronic Money Institution licence. The stablecoin issuer has already applied for the same. 

The move will be in line with Circle’s commitment to European standards, especially the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation. 

MiCA institutes uniform EU market rules for crypto-assets. The regulation covers crypto-assets that are not currently regulated by existing financial services legislation. 

It is expected to serve as a legal framework for crypto asset firms interacting with markets within the European Union. 

Recently, France has been welcoming crypto companies, especially the ones fleeing the uncertain regulatory environment of the US. This has been facilitated by the EU’s signing of the landmark MiCA legislation into law in May this year. 

Talking about the same, Circle’s Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Global Policy, Dante Disparte, said:

“The selection of France as our European regulatory base builds on the country’s clear rules for responsible innovation in fintech and digital assets while leveraging France’s dynamic entrepreneurial, technological, banking and financial services ecosystem.”

In September, Circle was in the news for intervening in the ongoing Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) lawsuit against leading crypto exchange, Binance.

The $USDC issuer argued saying that financial trading regulations should not be extended to stablecoins, especially when their value is pegged to other assets.

“Payment stablecoins, on their own, do not have the essential features of an investment contract”, said its official filing. They, therefore, aren’t securities as users of these stablecoins do not anticipate profits from mere purchases.