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French financial regulator launches ICO-focused UNICORN program

French financial regulator Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is seeking to develop a regulatory framework for Initial Coin Offering and has announced “UNICORN” program on these lines.

The AMF noted that ICOs are intended to finance technological project at an early stage of development. The tokens issued in the process have different characteristics specific to each operation. Accordingly, the regulator said that it is important to understand the nature of the token, what it represents, and the risks and benefits involved.

In its study of ICO operations and their legal implications, the AMF found that while some of the observed ICOs could be subject to existing legal provisions, most of the issues would remain outside the existing regulatory framework.

The AMF is now considering different approaches, which includes promoting guidance on ICOs on an ongoing basis or proposing new rules altogether. In this context, it is seeking consulation from the public and is accepting submissions until December 22, 2017.

On these lines, the AMF has launched a new program “UNICORN”, which aims to provide a guidance to the organizers of ICOs in the country.

"Called UNICORN (for "Universal Node to ICO Research & Network"), this one, in parallel of the reflection on the possible tracks of regulation, aims at offering to these carriers of projects a frame allowing the development of their operations and to ensure the protection of actors and investors wishing to participate,” the AMF said (as translated by CoinDesk). "The AMF also intends to encourage academic research on this subject and will publish a first impact analysis of these new forms of financing within one year.”

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