France third-largest bank gets digital asset services approval
- The French bank Société Générale has been given permission for its subsidiary, Forge, to offer services for digital assets.
- The French government can now store, sell, and trade digital assets because of a decision by the French regulatory authority.
- It is similar to decisions made by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) about crypto companies like Crypto.com, Binance, and Luno that are based outside of France.
Societe Generale France third-largest bank by market capitalization, discreetly acquired regulatory authorisation to operate as a digital asset service provider in the country last month. It was started in 1864 and will have more than €1.4 billion in assets by 2020, making it the third largest bank in France and the sixth largest in Europe.
Societe Generale Forge, a branch of the bank that focuses on blockchain and is fully integrated, can now hold, sell, and trade digital assets as of last month. This is because of a decision by the French financial market regulator, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), about digital asset service providers (DASPs).
The Block asked Société Générale for comment on Friday, but had not heard back by the time the article was published.
At the moment, it’s hard for many venture capitalists in France to find regulated ways to store digital assets. This means that French crypto funds like the €100 million Ledger Cathay Capital fund were set up as unregulated special purpose vehicles. With this latest decision from the AMF, French venture capital firms that want to store their token investments may be able to use the services of one of the country’s best-known banks.
This is the bank’s latest move in the area of digital assets, which it has done before. Last month, the bank said that its securities services would be adding new custodial services for asset management companies that want to make cryptocurrency-based funds. In June, Metaco, a company that stores digital assets, said it would work with Société Générale’s Forge to expand its digital asset services.
France loves crypto?
Crypto companies from outside of Europe are also still looking at France as a key hub for blockchain technologies in Europe. Last week, Crypto.com, a platform for digital currencies, said it would invest €150 million (about $145 million) in France to help its operations there, including setting up a regional base in Paris.
Along with Crypto.com, other foreign cryptocurrency exchanges like Luno and Binance have also gotten licences in France, which is trying to become a centre for blockchain technology.
Binance also announced a €100 million ($97 million) investment in the country in April, calling France “uniquely positioned to be the leader of this industry in Europe.”