COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE FRENCH AND BRITISH REGIMES
The European directive AML5 requires that Member States subject certain activities on "virtual currencies" to a registration obligation with a view to combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism with the relevant national authorities. This obligation is imposed on providers engaged in exchange services between virtual currencies and fiat currencies, as well as on custodian wallet providers. In compliance with the AML5 Directive, Member States must transpose these provisions into their respective national laws by 10 January 2020 at the latest.
The Loi Pacte of 22 May 2019 enabled France to transpose this law by including in French law new provisions applicable to a new category of assets, "digital assets" (covering "virtual currencies" within the meaning of AML5, but also "tokens" as defined in Article L. 552-2 of the French Monetary and Financial Code). On 25 October 2019, the British authority, the Financial Conduct Authority ("FCA") issued a press release in which it clarifies the new regime applicable to "crypto-asset activities" in the field of AML-CFT.
What approaches have been adopted by the French and British legislators in transposing AML5? Are there different interpretations of the definition of services concerned and the scope of the measures put in place?
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