BCB Group gains foothold in France after abandoning Germany

Payment processor BCB Group plans to expand in Europe after getting regulatory approval in France, according to a press release issued on Monday.

The firm, which bridges crypto firms with the banking system, has gained authorization from France’s main financial regulators, the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR) and the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF). These approvals allow BCB to operate as an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) and a Digital Assets Services Provider (DASP).

The EMI license enables the company to issue, manage, and provide electronic money, in addition to offering payment services. The DASP license is crucial for providing digital asset services such as custody and cryptocurrency trading.

BCB’s EMI services are now available to clients, and the company is gearing up to launch its DASP services as soon as they receive final approval from the AMF. This regulatory achievement comes after Jerome Prigent was named managing director of BCB Europe last December to expand its footprint in the region.

Oliver Tonkin, CEO of BCB Group, highlighted the strategic choice of France for its clear regulatory framework and vibrant financial ecosystem.

“This is a game changer for BCB Group, allowing us to expand our footprint into the EEA for the first time since Brexit. We have been very impressed with our engagement with the French regulators, and we look forward to integrating ourselves into the burgeoning blockchain ecosystem in France,” he added.

This expansion comes after BCB withdrew from its planned acquisition of Germany’s Sutor Bank last June due to regulatory delays and changing market conditions. The move followed shortly after the departure of former CEO Oliver von Landsberg-Sadie and Deputy CEO Noah Sharp.

The move comes as France is becoming a go-to location in the European Union for crypto companies. BCB is the latest to join the list of crypto firms that have scored a major regulatory approval in France, and it follows the steps of Binance, Circle and Crypto.com, amongst others.

Nevertheless, France is now moving ahead with its plans to tighten regulation, supervision and oversight of cryptocurrency companies.