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France: Every Fourth Financial Scam in 2021 Involved Crypto, Says Ombudsman

Marielle Cohen-Branche – the French financial ombudsman – revealed that approximately 25% of suspected monetary frauds in France last year involved cryptocurrency investment schemes. This is a sharp increase from 2020 when the figures stood at 6%.

Crypto Scams in France on the Rise

The increasing popularity of the digital asset sector leads to its imminent employment in fraudulent activities. In a recent report, the French ombudsman – Marielle Cohen-Branche – disclosed that such schemes accounted for one-quarter of all monetary scams in France during 2021.

Firms that want to provide digital asset services in France need to register with the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF). The agency is responsible for safeguarding the investments in the nation and checks for compliance with anti-money laundering procedures.

Cohen-Branche recommended that the safest option for clients who want to trade cryptocurrencies is to pick a local company that has already secured such a license from the AMF. She cautioned that those operating with foreign exchanges might be left without compensation in case a problem occurs.

“The ombudsman is only able to act if the professional has actively solicited the investor in France.”

Marielle Cohen-Branche, Source: SMCP

It is worth noting that cryptocurrencies accounted for only 6% of all monetary scams in France in 2020. According to Cohen-Branche, the sharp rise indicates that the overall financial picture in the European country does not look good.

Banque de France Urges for Quick Regulations

Last summer, the Head of the French central bank – François Villeroy de Galhau – opined that the European Union and its fiat currency – the euro – could face tough times if urgent rules are not applied to the cryptocurrency sector:

“Whether it is digital currencies or payments, we in Europe must be ready to act as quickly as necessary or take the risk of an erosion of our monetary sovereignty.”

Before that, the chairman of the AMF – Robert Ophèle – also called upon establishing a regulatory framework around digital assets. According to him, the move could boost the growth and development of innovative projects.

On the other hand, Ophèle does not want to see too strict measures imposed on the industry. He argued that such an initiative could drive crypto-based businesses out of the European Union.


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