France’s Financial Market Authority (AMF) have given their first stamp of approval to an initial coin offering (ICO) and awarded an ICO visa to an entity they deem to have met the minimum criteria required by French law. The company, enigmatically called French ICO, is a fund raising platform built on the Ethereum blockchain.
— FRENCH-ICO.com (@IcoFrench) December 19, 2019
With a clearly stated vision of adopting decentralised finance (DeFi) by offering the greatest number of innovative solutions and alternatives to traditional financing, French ICO is aiming to be a gateway for other ICO projects to launch and where investors can utilise the platform’s standardised format for making investment decisions.
The French ICO (FICO) is scheduled to begin in March with modest softcap of €100,000 and hardcap of €1 million. According to the company’s website, contributions will be made in ETH with the FICO utility token being available at varying prices – 0.00067 ETH, 0.00083 ETH, and 0.001 ETH – for each phase of the sale. The sale will be concluded by 1 June 2020 as the AMF’s VISA will lapse on this date.
As officially designated as a utility token by the AMF, FICO is not considered as a financial instrument and so qualifies for the watchdog’s optional visa classification. However, the authority states to potential investors that, although FICO has provided minimum guarantees and published a complete and understandable whitepaper, “The AMF visa does not in any way constitute an assessment as to whether or not it is appropriate to participate in a token offer.”
The AMF are inviting other ICO projects to contact them to discuss their suitability for an ICO visa and mention that a meeting may be organised at AMF’s premises for project owners to present their ideas.
As the visa is optional, ICOs launching without it are not necessarily considered illegal but will be at a disadvantage as they are “…prohibited from solicitation, patronage and sponsorship activities.”