Spain moves to regulate influencers promoting crypto

    19 Jan 2022

    The first country in the EU, Spain, is trying to control the way cryptocurrencies are marketed, with new restrictions on influencers’ promotions. According to the new rules published Monday, posts promoting crypto-assets must now include the appropriate disclaimer. Fines for non-compliance could reach €300,000. The new rules will come into force in February.

    The fast unmonitored growth of crypto and digital assets has drawn attention from regulators worldwide, who fear they could put the financial system at risk.

    The Spanish watchdog – the Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV) – the government agency responsible for the financial regulation of the securities markets in Spain, issued a release on Monday defining the new rules.

    Posts promoting crypto-assets must now include the following disclaimer: “Investments in crypto-assets are not regulated. They may not be appropriate for retail investors, and the full amount invested may be lost.”

    These include influencers with more than 100,000 subscribers who are paid to advertise and promote crypto assets, who will now have to notify the CNMV on the content of promotions related to crypto with at least 10 days’ notice.

    The new regulations will start in mid-February and allow the CNMV to monitor advertising for all types of crypto assets precisely. Fines for non-compliance are capped at €300,000 and could be doled out to crypto companies, PR firms, and individual influencers.

    Back in November, the CNMV scolded soccer star Andres Iniesta after he promoted the crypto exchange Binance on his Twitter and Instagram accounts, telling him that he should be thoroughly informed about cryptocurrencies before making any investment in them or recommending others to do so.

    Although this is seemingly the first move for the EU, several other nations have moved to control how crypto firms advertise their services in recent months. For example, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority is in the process of creating new guidelines for the industry, having said their regulation is a “red alert” priority.

    On Monday, Singapore also moved to rein in ads, advising that service providers should only market their wares on their own websites, apps, or social media, as they should not trivialize the risks of investing in digital assets in doing so.

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