Kraken looks to buy a PSAN in France

The American exchange platform could buy a company that is already PSAN-registered to speed up its regulation process in Europe. According to our information, at least two French start-ups have been approached.

"Kraken wants to position itself on the French market, that's no longer in doubt". Although this statement may not seem very surprising (the rumour has been swirling for a long time), the fact that it comes from the boss of a company that has received a takeover proposal from the American giant gives it substance and, above all, a timetable.

According to our information, the world's third-largest exchange platform (behind Binance and Coinbase) is actively looking to buy a company with a digital asset service provider (DASP) registration.

It is this precious sesame that enables it to sell cryptocurrencies to the European public.

Currently, Kraken is accessible to Europeans but the company is formally prohibited from canvassing them commercially (with advertising, for example). Above all, the platform will no longer be able to serve them without PSAN from 2025, when MiCA, the European regulation that will regulate the crypto sector, comes into force.

Such an eventuality is unthinkable, as Kraken achieves significant volumes in Europe. "They're even ahead of Binance in Europe. This market is crucial for them," says the head of a French platform approached.

For Kraken, acquiring a PSAN - instead of filing an application of its own - is relevant for two reasons.

Firstly because such an operation would save it time (it currently takes around eight months to obtain registration), but above all it would simplify its task because the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) process has been tightened in recent months.

"For a very large platform like Kraken, it could take a long time to review the application, so buying out a PSAN and making it a subsidiary is much more attractive," blows out a source close to the matter.

A point also confirmed by William O'Rorke, a partner at ORWL, a law firm specialising in disruptive technologies: "Acquiring a PSAN does not require a new registration, you just have to get the new shareholding validated by the AMF. In principle, it doesn't interrupt the company's activity, so it's very attractive for the buyer".

Then there's the question of the price offered...

"They offered us around 50 euros per customer who filled in their personal details", says an entrepreneur who has not followed up. Clearly, a company with around 20,000 users can hope to sell for around a million euros.

An offer like this is bound to disappoint the managers of potential targets, but the context is not working in their favour. Almost all PSANs are in financial difficulty, and particularly the youngest players. "There's clearly a market for beleaguered start-ups, and the sector is currently teeming with them", insists one of them

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