The Autorite des marches Financiers (AMF) has published a list of 15 cryptocurrency sites that have broken French financial regulations. The press release which was released yesterday gave a list of 15 sites, however, the statement said the selected websites were likely to change and as such the list was not exhaustive.
According to the AMF these 15 websites had broken the “Sapin II” law which was introduced in December 2016. Law No. 2016- 1691 was introduced to fight against corruption and lack of transparency in modern financial markets.
The majority of the offences were due to 'unfair advertising practices', which gave investors misinformation and an expectation of profit. A smaller number of the sites found their way onto the list because they had offered investments in commodities such as wine, rare earths or crypto-assets.
The statement, titled “The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is publishing a list on its website of unauthorized companies proposing atypical investments without being authorised to do so” said the following sites had broken regulations despite multiple warnings:
Warning To Investors
The press release warned the public of the risks in investing in the crypto-asset market which gave the basic but useful tenants of investing; high rewards are almost always matched with higher risks. Also, to only invest in products that you understand and have researched:
- no advertising materials should make you overlook the fact that high returns always involve high risk;
- learn as much as you can about the company or intermediary trying to sell you a product (authorisation/certification, company history, location of head offices, etc.);
- only invest in a product you understand;
- ask yourself how, and by whom, the purchase price or selling price of the advertised product is set, and find out the precise terms and timeline for selling the product, especially in cases where the product invests in an asset class with low liquidity.
The approach taken by the AMF to regulate the heated cryptocurrency market has been mirrored by many major financial jurisdictions. For example in the U.S., the SEC recently published an informational statement explaining the risks of investing the crypto markets. It appears this softer approach of protecting retail investors has been favoured over the heavy-handed regulation from China.