In an interview with Challenges, Robert Ophèle, head of France’s stock market regulatory authority - The Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) - shared his plans for the next 5 years and commented on cryptocurrencies and ICOs.

When asked about the AMF's view on the development of bitcoin and cryptomoney, he said:

“The amounts involved are no longer anecdotal. There are various issues behind this...all that one wants to avoid: tax evasion, money laundering or the financing of terrorism.”

After stating the risks and challenges that come with cryptocurrencies, he also conceded that they do have legitimate use-cases and that the financial industry is considering ways to move forward.

“But it also meets more legitimate needs for cash transfers in a fast and cost-free way in the world. The financial industry is paying close attention.”

ICOs, or initial coin offerings have come under fire lately as regulatory authorities around the world try to get a handle on this new method of raising funds and capital, which seemly flouts existing laws and regulations.

Commenting on ICOs, the AMF President said:

“The AMF is currently analyzing the legal framework for ICOs (initial coins offering, ed.), Which are in the process of developing in France. We want to get a quick position on the issue.”

Similar sentiments were expressed earlier by the Chairman of Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission, Wellington Koo, who advocated a more measured approach towards cryptocurrencies and ICOs compared to China and South Korea, both of whom imposed bans on ICOs in September.

"Just because China and South Korea are banning, doesn't mean that Taiwan should follow suit – there is a huge opportunity for growth in the future. We should emulate Japan, where they treat cryptocurrency as a highly regulated, highly monitored industry like securities," said Mr. Koo just two days ago.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) also issued a statement regarding ICOs this week, stating that they have to comply with existing MAS securities laws:

Some of the obligations for ICOs are: “the requirements of having to register a prospectus, obtain intermediary or exchange operator licenses.” 

The head of the MAS, Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam also shared that the authority will be monitoring ICOs closely and consider ways to improve legislation when appropriate.