Cryptocurrencies: They would be linked to a quarter of scams according to the AMF ombudsman

In France, those who offer their intermediation service on products such as cryptocurrency, the NFT, decentralized finance or digital assets in general are called providers on digital assets (PSAN). It is in their rank that we would find at least a quarter of the crooks whose misdeeds are brought before the ombudsman of the AMF. This figure, up sharply from the 6% reported in 2020, suggests that the scam in this segment is taking precedence over other forms of scams that are passed on to prosecutors, according to the report by Marielle Cohen-Branch.

Paris, France - July 29, 2021: Detail of the building housing the Autorite des Marches Financiers (AMF), the French administrative authority in charge of the regulation of financial markets

French cryptocurrency investors have also been warned that they will not be able to complain about providers who are not registered with thenational authority for financial markets, the AMF.

Best of all, the scope of competence of the mediator is determined by the person who takes the initiative in the quarreled transaction. As well, « The mediator can only act if the professional has actively solicited the investor in France “, the report said, noting the emergence of a ” new type of litigation concerning cryptoassets ». The Ombudsman’s report states, however, that by virtue of their nature, ” few crypto-asset cases fall within the sphere of competence of the AMF Mediation ».

According to French law, cryptocurrency providers who want to sell in France must register with the AMF, which verifies governance and compliance with anti-money laundering standards.

But French customers who, on their own initiative, seek to turn to foreign crypto providers, could find themselves without any recourse in the event of a problem, the ombudsman stressed.

Ms Cohen-Branche, who works independently at the AMF, is responsible for the mediation of disputes that citizens have with financial intermediaries such as brokers or investment managers in cases where no criminal behavior is suspected.

The cryptocurrency market in France infested by scammers

The classic form of the Forex scam has slowly migrated to the cryptoassets scam :

The report of Marielle Cohen-Branch explains well why a quarter of the files received in 2021 relate to fraudulent investments in cryptocurrencies (compared to about 6% of the files received in 2020) or investments in derivatives on crypto-assets. In fact, the intensity of criminal activity on digital assets seems to be explained by a migration from the Forex scam to the cryptocurrency scam: “The conversion of Forex scammers to cryptoassets, observed in previous years, is clearly confirmed this year.”

This figure is appealing in more ways than one. At a time when Paris aims to become the European capital of NFTs and the cryptocurrency economy, it becomes necessary to purify the landscape of crypto-crooks who risk scaring investors away.

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Luc Jose Adjinacou avatar
Luke Jose Adjinacou

Far from having cooled my ardor, an unsuccessful investment in 2017 on a cryptocurrency only increased my enthusiasm. I therefore resolved to study and understand the blockchain and its many uses and to relay information related to this ecosystem with my pen.

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