July 19, 2023 at 11:59 GMTModified date: August 9, 2023 at 10:23 GMT
July 19, 2023 at 11:59 GMT

Societe Generale gets French license approval

Societe Generale’s crypto division SG Forge has become the first firm to get a license to offer services in France from the country’s financial regulator.

Societe Generale gets French license approval

Banking giant Societe Generale has become the first company to obtain a French crypto license.

Its cryptocurrency-focused arm, Societe Generale-Forge, secured the license yesterday, 18 July, as reported by the regulatory body Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF).

This license will enable SGF to facilitate the purchase and sale of digital assets using legal tender, trade digital assets against other digital assets, and to receive and transmit third-party orders for digital assets.

Source: AMF

The achievement comes less than a year after Societe Generale-Forge officially registered with the French regulatory watchdog. 

While registration enables companies to offer crypto custody, exchange, or trading services in France, the licensing process mandates that the firm must be based in France and adhere to specific criteria related to organisational structure, financial capabilities, and business practices as outlined by the AMF .

According to AMF, a licensed DASP must meet conditions such as having professional indemnity insurance or a minimum amount of own funds, having an executive manager, maintaining adequate human and technical resources, resilient IT systems, internal control systems, claims handling procedures, conflict of interest prevention measures, and procedures for preventing money laundering and terrorism financing. In terms of conduct of business, a licensed DASP must also provide clear information to clients, establish client contracts, and fulfil specific requirements for the services they offer.

Licensing follows the successful launch of stablecoin

SG-Forge has remained proactive in the cryptocurrency space. In April, it launched an euro-backed stablecoin called EUR CoinVertible (EURCV) on the Ethereum network.

Following the launch, chief executive officer Jean-Marc Stenger said: “Digital assets with stabilisation mechanisms – i.e. stablecoins – built under a robust banking-grade structure will be a key element to increase trust and confidence in the native crypto ecosystem. This issuance is a major step in Societe Generale–FORGE’s roadmap to deliver innovative solutions to its clients, either real-money institutions and corporates or entities of the crypto industry, and to facilitate the emergence of new market infrastructures based on blockchain technology.”

According to the whitepaper, the EUR CoinVertible (EURCV) stablecoin was created to address existing market gaps and provide a comprehensive solution. It will be directly accessible to approved counterparties within Societe Generale Group’s Wholesale Division, subject to relevant compliance procedures such as KYC, AML-CFT, and Sanctions-Embargoes (S&E).

While EURCV will initially serve similar purposes as other stablecoins, the goal is to make it widely available through major exchanges as a reliable alternative for market participants. It will serve multiple functions, including acting as a robust settlement asset for on-chain transactions, offering innovative solutions for corporate treasury management and so forth.