In a groundbreaking development, Forge, a subsidiary of Société Générale, the third-largest bank in France, has become the first company to secure the highest access license for providing crypto services in the country. This milestone is not just a win for Société Générale but also a significant step forward for the crypto industry in France.
Forge’s license, known as the Prerequisite for Numerous Service Activities (PSAN), grants the provider the right to custody digital assets, purchase and sell them for legal tender, and trade them against each other. This development was noted in the register of the French stock market regulator, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), on July 19, 2023.
The Société Générale representatives stated in a press release that the accreditation represents the highest level of regulatory certification currently possible for digital asset transactions. This achievement sets a new standard in the crypto industry and paves the way for other companies to follow suit.
Crypto Goes Approved
While around 90 companies are already on the AMF list of licensed providers, Forge is the first to receive the highest approval for numerous services from the regulator. Even the subsidiary of Société Générale’s powerful competitor, Crédit Agricole, only received approval for digital custody in June 2023. The stringent requirements for this level of approval give an obvious advantage to large traditional banks over smaller crypto companies.
Société Générale has been quite active in the crypto sector, issuing euro bonds on the Ethereum blockchain and security tokens on the Tezos blockchain and proposing Dai (DAI) stablecoin loans in exchange for bond tokens. In April 2023, Forge launched EUR CoinVertible, a euro-pegged stablecoin for qualified institutional clients. This new digital asset is only available to investors onboarded by Societe Generale through its existing Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering procedures.
Mainstreaming Cryptos in France
France remains one of the friendliest European jurisdictions to crypto, despite the local arm of Binance being the subject of a preliminary investigation conducted by the Judicial Investigation Service of Finance under the direction of the specialized interregional jurisdiction of Paris.
This development is a testament to the growing acceptance and regulation of cryptocurrencies in traditional banking systems. It is a significant step towards integrating digital assets into mainstream financial services, providing a robust framework for the future of the crypto industry in France and beyond.
Earlier, Latin America’s crypto landscape was given the green light by the Bank of Spain’s approval. Stay tuned for more updates!