Societe Generale Forge (SocGen Forge) has been granted a full license as a Digital Asset Service Provider (DASP) by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers’ (AMF). Last year it registered as a DASP for crypto-asset trading, sales and custody. Additionally, it now has the right to receive and transmit orders on behalf of clients and is the only “licensed” DASP so far. Licenses are optional whereas registration is obligatory.
Licensing has additional requirements, such as having professional indemnity insurance or a minimum level of capital. A licensee must have internal controls, resilient IT systems, claims handling and other controls in place. There are also some basic requirements, such as having client contracts.
“With the DASP license approval, Societe Generale – FORGE confirms its pioneering role in the crypto assets ecosystem,” said Jean-Marc Stenger, Chief Executive Officer of Societe Generale-FORGE. “This step will allow us to continue supporting our institutional clients wishing to benefit from services on digital assets that meet the highest standards of compliance and banking security.”
SocGen Forge has indeed been a pioneer. It has issued its own security tokens on a public blockchain starting in 2019. And it worked with the European Investment Bank (EIB) on its first digital bond issuance, also on a public blockchain.
In April SocGen Forge was the first (subsidiary of a) globally systemic bank (G-SIB) to issue a stablecoin on a public blockchain, the Euro CoinVertible (EURCV). However, that brave move has not yet been rewarded. It encountered significant flak from the crypto community, which perhaps didn’t appreciate that the stablecoin is intended for institutional use, not consumers. Following the initial €10 million minting there have been no transactions to date.