The AMF clarifies the status of PSAN
The Financial Markets Authority (AMF) published this week an update to its doctrine on registration and approval for the digital asset service provider regime (PSAN). From a legal point of view, a doctrine can be interpreted as a frequently asked questions (FAQ) giving the guidelines for understanding a legal text.
In this case, it is the doctrine DOC-2020-07, which highlights the rules that must be complied with by a PSANbut also the criteria, which would oblige a company to need to register or obtain a license.
As these lines are written, the AMF list counts 37 records PSAN and no approval. This last specificity pushes the legal framework even further and will require, for example, the company to have professional civil liability and minimum equity.
The AMF’s latest update therefore includes, for these two statuses, several parts of our ecosystem such as advertising, staking and lending.
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What do these clarifications imply?
One of the most important points of clarification of this novelty relates to advertising. In general, a company addressing the French public in its promotional communication must imperatively register as a PSAN. This includes all possible and imaginable types of supportsranging from the written press to social networks, even including communication during events such as trade fairs.
This specificity encompasses not only advertising initiated by the company itself, but also the communication resulting from a so-called tacit agreement, such as the provision of affiliate links that can be relayed by a third party. Thus, the various players in the sector implementing affiliate functionalities through their community, influencers or any media, are likely to be concerned.
Another important point, which makes its appearance in this doctrine, concerns the staking and the lending. Indeed, these activities can lead a company to maintain digital assets on behalf of a customer, thereby making it fall within the regulations. This is why the AMF encourages players offering such services to clarify this legal situation on a case-by-case basis.
Also comes the need for communication in French. If this question did not arise with French companies such as Just Mining, it becomes legitimate with the arrival of foreign platforms like Binance. This concept therefore encompasses all facets of communication, ranging from technical documentation to customer service.
Finally, the AMF specifies that managing a client’s assets through API connections made available by the latter, is also likely, depending on the rights granted, to require registration. Indeed, this can be qualified as a digital asset custody service for example.
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The Evolution of the PSAN Diet
Overall, this update provides clarification on existing rules. Depending on the evolution of technologies and the knowledge acquired by the regulator, these texts are likely to evolve.
In view of the elements cited, it is therefore understandable that certain players benefiting from a French clientele are not in order. Thus, the months and years to come should see the ranks of PSANs expand, as regulation takes hold in the landscape of our ecosystem.
In addition, it will be interesting to study the reasons that will push companies to go even further in their compliance, with obtaining approval with the AMF when we see the first examples appear.
👉 On the same subject – France: the Coinbase platform soon to be registered as a PSAN?
Sources: AMF update, Doctrine DOC-2020-07, PSAN
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