What does the AMF (French SEC) think of us and the status of PSAN?



Retreeb is a Swiss company, but it also has a subsidiary in France, and we knew that the regulations around crypto-assets would become increasingly strict. The clear division of Retreeb’s activities across multiple jurisdictions therefore imposed additional constraints at the outset, but these were quickly compensated by greater agility in the face of regulatory uncertainties.

Some contextual details: the PSAN status for Digital Asset Servicing (DAS) is a two-step regulatory tool set up by the AMF (equivalent to the French SEC), divided into “registration” and “agreement”.

PSAN registration, already restrictive, consists of the implementation of a number of rules, procedures, resources, etc., essentially related to the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. PSAN accreditation, which is considerably more restrictive and complex than registration, imposes a series of measures and resources that represent considerable costs for young start-ups. But this is normal for any financial company.

Until now, the regulations required the financial sector to apply for “PSAN registration” with the AMF. This is the case for Binance , Meria (ex Just Mining), Coinhouse, etc. And they had until 2024 to get the second level, the agreement. But the explosion of FTX came to upset the agenda. A French senator has asked for an obligation to obtain this agreement already in 2023. This amendment should be voted (or not) on 24.01.23 in the French National Assembly. The reaction is rash, emotional, even calculated, but above all unfounded, and could cause many players to leave the French market. Faced with far too many cases, the AMF will not be able to analyse and issue the precious authorisation within the deadline, even if the applicant is in compliance.

Retreeb has never been subject to this PSAN status. However, in this context of great regulatory uncertainty, our partners have asked us for confirmation of our position from the competent supervisory authority. The AMF confirmed on 11/01/23 that our activities for Retreeb France are not covered by this status:

… “In view of the information provided, our understanding of the project and the legislative and regulatory framework applicable today, in our analysis, Retreeb does not perform any services subject to mandatory registration of the entity as a service provider on digital assets.”…
Legal Affairs Department
Financial Markets Authority (AMF)

Although the situation is clear for Retreeb France, we would like to express our solidarity with French start-ups in the sector. We therefore call for the withdrawal of this amendment, which is unfortunately not only detrimental to innovation, but also misguided in its motives. We believe it is important to work together to support the development of start-ups in France and to promote innovation in our country.

Brian Fabregue, Chief Legal Officer @retreeb

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