AXA Investment Managers Gains French Crypto Registration

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Cristina Arias

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AXA Investment Managers was registered as a crypto services provider in France as of Tuesday, according to the website of the AMF, the financial markets regulator.

The announcement means the company, part of the AXA Group insurance company, which says it has 95 million clients in 50 countries, joins Binance, Bitstamp and Societe Generale in passing governance and money laundering checks set by French law.

Crypto providers are in a race against time to register with the authorities before new European Union (EU) laws take effect within the coming months. Those already registered will be exempt from the strictures of the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation for an extra period, and a newly passed French law means the domestic registration procedure will become tougher as of January 2024.

A spokesperson for AXA Investment Managers told CoinDesk that "registration as a crypto service provider will be useful as we actively work on initiatives where blockchain technology can bring benefits to capital markets," citing tokenization of financial securities and an interest in central bank digital currencies and stablecoins.

"We don’t have any investment strategy or exposure to cryptocurrencies" such as bitcoin or ether, the spokesperson added. "There is no plan at this stage to have any."

Two other companies, Ouro Capital and Optimisation Technologies, were registered on the same day, the website shows.

UPDATE (Mar. 8, 2023, 15:22 UTC): Adds response from AXA Investment Managers.