France Cracks Down on Unregulated Cryptocurrency Futures Trading

France’s chief financial markets watchdog said Thursday that it will crack down on unregulated cryptocurrency futures and
derivatives trading. In a statement, the Autorite des Marches Financiers (AMF) said that it had observed a variety of online
trading platforms launch cryptocurrency-based derivatives such as binary options, contracts for differences (CFDs), and Forex
contracts. The agency, which attributed this development to the “recent cryptocurrency boom,” said that it had concluded that
cash-settled cryptocurrency contracts qualified as derivatives, making them subject to AMF oversight. Bloomberg reports that
at least two French trading platforms — Plus500 Ltd. and IG Group Holdings Plc. — had reported strong growth in their
quarterly earnings reports, which they attributed in part to their cryptocurrency futures and derivatives products. In the
US, regulated exchanges CBOE and CME began listing Bitcoin futures contracts last December, while cryptocurrency derivatives
exchange LedgerX began processing orders several months earlier. Most of these products have targeted institutional
investors, although CBOE’s contracts have been cheap enough — each contract represents 1 BTC compared to CME’s 5 BTC
contracts — to attract interest from retail investors as well.


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