France’s Markets Watchdog Advocates Global Regulations for DeFi

France’s Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), the markets watchdog, has voiced its support for globally coordinated and transparent regulations in the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector. The AMF aims to protect users and foster the growth of this innovative industry.

In a recent publication, the AMF outlined its initial perspectives on DeFi, offering a definition of the concept, highlighting observed trends, and providing an overview of the ecosystem. The report delved deeper into areas such as decentralized trading protocols and governance-related mechanisms, aiming to generate discussion points relevant to a regulatory context.

The AMF’s insights presented in the publication aim to encourage dialogue with stakeholders in the DeFi ecosystem, with the ultimate goal of establishing a balanced regulatory framework. Such a framework would support the sound development of decentralized finance in the long term.

At the national level, the French Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR) has proactively formulated and submitted specific proposals for DeFi regulation. However, recognizing the cross-border nature of DeFi activities, the AMF also emphasizes the importance of a global coordinated approach to regulation. This approach would ensure a level playing field, protect investors, and foster innovation.

On the European level, the anticipated Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation will soon come into force, requiring the European Commission to assess DeFi-related developments and evaluate the need for regulation. International entities such as IOSCO and the FSB will also contribute to providing guidance and recommendations for jurisdictions in regulating DeFi.

The AMF recognizes the coming years as a crucial period for the DeFi sector, as it faces a key challenge of balancing the development of transparent and secure means to foster ecosystem growth and innovation, while providing adequate levels of investor protection.

While blockchain technology has brought innovative disruption to the digital economy, the AMF acknowledges that DeFi, building upon blockchain, is no stranger to such disruption. However, the novel approach of DeFi to traditional financial services also introduces risks and challenges.

The AMF cites the crash of the Terra/LUNA protocol in May 2022 as an example, demonstrating the need for a clear operational framework. To foster trust in the ecosystem and the innovation it brings, the AMF argues for an unambiguous regulatory framework that includes safeguards for information-sharing and user protection.

Considering that DeFi is still in its early stages but rapidly evolving, the AMF proposes that legislation should be progressive and proportionate. It should recognize the benefits of DeFi activities and governance models in promoting innovation while addressing the risks they pose to participants.

The AMF emphasizes that the views expressed in the publication are not its official position. It invites respondents to share their opinions on the matter until September 30, fostering an inclusive and collaborative approach to shaping DeFi regulations.

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