France's financial watchdog is poised to approve a first tranche of cryptocurrency-related companies under new rules on digital coins. Photo: File
INTERNATIONAL - France's financial watchdog is poised to approve a first tranche of cryptocurrency-related companies under new rules on digital coins, some of the first such regulations to be launched by a major economy. 

Under the rules, set to come into force late this month, crypto-related firms will voluntarily abide by standards on capital requirements and consumer protection and pay tax in France, in exchange for approval from the regulator. “France is a precursor. We will have a legal, tax and regulatory framework,” said Anne Marechal, executive director for legal affairs at the Financial Markets Authority. 

“We are in talks with three or four candidates for initial coin offerings,” she said, referring to companies that raise funds by issuing digital tokens. Cryptocurrencies are subject to patchy rules across the world, with the technology remaining mostly unregulated. While some smaller countries from Belarus to Malta have brought in specific laws, major economies have tended to apply existing financial rules. Global scrutiny of cryptocurrencies has grown since Facebook unveiled plans last month for its Libra digital coin.

REUTERS