French regulator warns against unauthorized crypto platforms

AMF once again advised investors to only invest in crypto through authorized services listed on official websites.

French stock market regulator, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), continues monitoring the cryptocurrency market to warn investors about unauthorized crypto services.

On Friday, AMF updated its web portals, identifying those that offer crypto and foreign exchange (forex) investments through unauthorized entities. The list included four websites related to cryptocurrency derivatives investments alongside 12 forex-related sites.

According to the regulator, the listed entities have been offering investment products without being authorized to provide such services. To protect investors from potentially fraudulent investments, AMF and French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority (ACPR) regularly update the blacklist of unauthorized investment providers. Still, those lists are “not intended to be complete” as “new unauthorized entities appear regularly.”

The authority strongly recommended that investors follow the list of authorized investment providers using the online register of financial service providers as well as the list of authorized providers in the financial investment advisor or crowdfunding categories.

The AMF’s latest warning comes shortly after Paris-based derivatives fund manager Melanion Capital launched a Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) in August. Melanion CEO Jad Comair reportedly said that getting the fund approved by AMF was “a real challenge because of the sensibilities and politics currently surrounding Bitcoin and Bitcoin investing.”

Related: South Africa’s financial regulator issues warning against Binance

Global authorities have been increasingly expressing concerns over unregulated crypto investment services recently.

In mid-August, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission advised citizens to only invest in crypto via financial institutions holding an Australian Financial Services license. According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, crypto scams made up more than 50% of Australian investors’ losses in the first six months of 2021.

Earlier this year, Bank of France governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau urged Europe to prioritize crypto regulation due to the risk of digital assets challenging its monetary sovereignty.

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