The Forge division of Société Générale, a major French bank, has been given permission to provide digital asset services. A French regulatory body has given the go-ahead for the country to store, sell, and exchange digital assets. In doing so, it follows the lead of the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), which has issued similar orders for foreign cryptocurrency exchanges including Crypto.com, Binance, and Luno.
French financial institution Société Générale, the nation’s third-largest bank by market value, secretly gained authorisation from the French government to sell digital asset services inside the country last month. Established in 1864, by 2020 it will have amassed assets of more than €1.4 billion, making it the third-largest bank in France and the sixth-largest in Europe.
The banking behemoth can now hold, sell, and trade digital assets via its fully integrated blockchain-focused subsidiary, Societe Generale Forge, which launched only last month. The French financial market regulator, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), has issued a judgement favorable to digital asset service providers (DASPs), contributing to this development.
The availability of regulated custodial solutions for digital assets is a major issue for many French VCs at present. In other words, the €100 million Ledger Cathay Capital fund and similar French crypto funds were established as unregulated special-purpose entities. A recent decision by the AMF might pave the way for a major French bank to provide custody services for token investments held by French VCs.
The bank has previously taken similar steps in the cryptocurrency market. The bank stated last month that its securities services would provide additional custodial services for asset management businesses looking to create cryptocurrency-based funds. Metaco, a cryptocurrency custody firm, stated in June that it would be collaborating with Société Générale’s Forge to increase its services for digital assets.
French Crypto Background
It’s no secret that international cryptocurrency firms see France as Europe’s most promising center for blockchain applications. Crypto.com, a cryptocurrency exchange platform, invested €150 million ($145 million) in France this week to expand its presence there and open a regional headquarters in the city of Paris.
In April, Binance also announced a €100 million ($97 million) investment in France, which it described as being uniquely positioned to be the leader of this market in Europe.