Last month, France's Financial Markets Authority (AMF) announced its first approval for an initial coin offering (ICO). The approval, known as an "ICO visa," was granted to French ICO, a company that offers a platform for fundraising in crypto assets, and is reportedly capped at €1 million and in effect until June 1, 2020. In granting the ICO visa, the AMF considered whether a number of criteria had been met, including that the issuer of the tokens was incorporated as a legal entity established or registered in France, and that the issuer had proper systems in place to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. This approval was made in conjunction with French Law No. 2019-486 of 22 May 2019, also referred to as the Action Plan for Business Growth and Transformation law, a comprehensive legal framework for cryptocurrencies that was adopted last spring.

In the United States, a bill was recently introduced to Congress called the "Crypto-Currency Act of 2020," which, among other things, purports to clarify which federal agencies are to regulate digital assets. The bill recognizes three separate kinds of assets. The first are "crypto-commodities" (economic goods or services), which the bill proposes should be regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The second are "crypto-currencies" (representations of U.S. currency or "synthetic derivatives resting on a blockchain"), which should be regulated by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). And the third, "crypto-securities" (debt, equity and derivative instruments that reside on a blockchain), should be regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The act also provides definitions of "decentralized oracle," "digital asset," "federal crypto regulator," "reserve-backed stablecoin" and "synthetic stablecoin." It is unclear whether the bill will proceed past any current preliminary stages.

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