On July 19, Forge, a subsidiary of Société Générale, the third-largest bank in France, became the pioneer company to acquire the highest access license for providing crypto services in the country. This license is known as a prerequisite for numerous service activities (PSAN).
This milestone grants Forge the right to custody digital assets, engage in the purchase and sale of assets for legal tender, and facilitate asset trading among various cryptocurrencies.
Reaching the Pinnacle of Regulation in Digital Asset Transactions
The recognition of Forge’s achievement did not go unnoticed. It has garnering the attention of local media and the French stock market regulator, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF).
The accreditation secured by Forge stands as the most esteemed level of regulatory certification presently attainable for digital asset transactions. Société Générale’s representatives highlighted the significance of this accomplishment in their press release.
As of this update, approximately 90 companies already feature on the AMF list of licensed providers. For instance, Crédit Agricole, a formidable competitor to Société Générale, received approval for digital custody in June 2023.
However, Forge’s distinction lies in securing the highest level of approval for various services from the regulator, setting them apart in the market. French radio station Business FM highlighted how these rigorous requirements tend to favor established traditional banks over smaller players in the crypto industry.
Société Générale’s Pioneering Ventures into the Crypto Sector
Société Générale has consistently displayed its active involvement in the crypto sector. Moreover, they have demonstrated an eagerness to explore the potentials of blockchain technology and digital assets. They have also issued euro bonds on the Ethereum blockchain and security tokens on the Tezos blockchain. This further showcases their readiness to embrace cutting-edge innovations.
In April 2023, Forge launched EUR CoinVertible, a euro-pegged stablecoin exclusively designed for qualified institutional clients. To access this new digital asset, investors must undergo the thorough onboarding process facilitated by Société Générale, following stringent Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering procedures.
Navigating France’s Crypto Landscape
While France remains one of the friendliest European jurisdictions towards cryptocurrencies, recent developments involving Binance have raised some concerns. The local arm of the prominent crypto exchange has been subject to a preliminary investigation led by the Judicial Investigation Service of Finance, under the direction of the specialized interregional jurisdiction of Paris.
This significant milestone for Forge represents not only a triumph for Société Générale but also a testament to the rapidly evolving landscape of cryptocurrencies within France’s financial sector. With an increasing number of traditional banks exploring and embracing crypto-related ventures, the industry’s future in the country seems promising.
As more companies delve into the world of blockchain and digital assets, it remains crucial to strike a balance between innovation and regulation to foster sustainable growth within the crypto ecosystem.