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Fund segregation: AMF puts pressure on exchanges

Fund segregation: AMF puts pressure on exchanges

The Autorité des marchés financiers is pushing for French PSANs to stop working with platforms that do not segregate their users' funds.

The number of exchanges with which digital asset service providers (PSAN) will be allowed to work is likely to shrink sharply.

According to our information, the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is putting pressure on French players to acquire their cryptocurrencies only from exchanges with segregated accounts. In plain English: that customer funds be kept separate from the exchange's own funds at all times.

All exchange platforms registered in France are subject to this obligation, which is not, however, always the case in other European or foreign jurisdictions.

MiCA approval, which will be mandatory from July 2026 for platforms wishing to operate on a regulated basis in Europe, promises to put an end to this practice by harmonising the rules at European level. But clearly, the AMF wants to anticipate this.

The regulator sees this as an additional protection for investors, insofar as FTX, which was declared bankrupt at the end of 2022, had caused significant losses to its creditors. In this way, the financial watchdog hopes to ensure that all companies selling cryptocurrencies to the French do not deal with a potential future FTX.

Few users know this, but when they buy cryptocurrency via a centralised platform, they become its creditors. The platform undertakes to buy the asset itself and then store it in a wallet where other assets belonging to other users as well as (sometimes) their own assets will be mixed.

Frequently, the platform will keep an account register, which will not be visible in the blockchain, to find out how much it owes each of its users. "Some platforms use this commingling of funds to better manage their liquidity, and sometimes even to carry out transactions on their own behalf," explains a good industry insider.

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