Spain leads European crypto marketing ban. Spain is tightening curbs on the promotion of cryptocurrencies by influencers. As European regulators struggle to come to grips with the unregulated industry. In which they operate.
Spain’s national securities market commission. Has been given the authority to oversee cryptocurrency advertising. Which appears to be a first for the European Union.
The measures, which were published in the country’s official newspaper on Monday. Will become effective in one month. Influencers and their sponsors are required. To notify authorities in advance of some posts and to warn of the hazards. Associated with cryptocurrency, or they will face fines.
According to Rodrigo Buenaventura, the director of the watchdog’s office. “We are very excited about how this will bring some order to how crypto is promoted.” Not only through traditional media but also through influencers. “We are very excited about how this will bring some order. To how crypto is promoted,” he said in an interview with the Financial Times.
In the absence of protection for influencers, there would be a backdoor to circumvent regulation. This is unfamiliar territory, both for us and for them, and there will be times of friction. As is often the case when new laws implemented. For something that has previously been unregulated.”
Those new powers for the Spanish watchdog come. After the commission’s November Twitter spat with Spanish footballing legend Andrés Iniesta. Over his paid promotion of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, in which the commission told the World Cup winner. That it was his responsibility to inform his followers of the risks. Involved with cryptocurrency.
Proposed EU-wide sector regulations are still pending
Currently, no agreement has reached on proposed EU-wide laws. For the sector, which do not aim to harmonize guidelines for advertisers. Such as influencers.
The result is that Madrid and other European cities are also moving to restrict, if not outlaw. The promotion of crypto-currency items. Late last year, France established a body under the supervision of its finance ministry. With the responsibility of examining online crypto advertising.
In July, a French reality television star fined €20,000. For engaging in “misleading commercial practices”. After posting an advertisement for a Bitcoin trading website on Snapchat.
“Like Spain, other nations are deciding not just to wait a few of years. For the EU regulation to decide everything. But also to take on areas like as publicity,” said Buenaventura. “The EU legislation will also decide everything in a couple of years,” he added.
Additionally, influencers will required to report if they compensated. In any way for promoting cryptocurrency, whether monetary or otherwise. Under the new Spanish regulations.
If that is the case, the watchdog will require that their posts. Include prominent “clear, balanced, impartial, and non-misleading”. Statements about the risks of investing in cryptocurrencies. As well as a warning that crypto-investment is not regulated, potentially unsuitable for retail investors. And may also result in the loss of all assets invested.
Influencers or outlets in Spain with 100,000+ followers
Influencers or media outlets in Spain with more than 100,000 followers will required. To alert the watchdog of the content of their cryptocurrency promotions. With at least 10 days’ notice before they take place. Non-compliance might result in fines of up to €300,000.
The new Spanish publicity restrictions apply to crypto groups themselves. As well as to the public relations firms they hire. Including to influencers and other third parties.
According to a European Commission official, Brussels has “no fundamental issue”. To member states regulating ahead of the EU’s crypto regime. Known as Mica — coming into force, as long as the national and EU-level laws. Are compatible with one another. “Once Mica comes into effect, it is possible that rules. Will need to changed based on the unique situation,” the official continued.
In the meantime, the UK Treasury is looking at a proposal to tighten regulations on cryptocurrency advertising. The new British legislation will very certainly require crypto advertisements. To approved in advance by a company that authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority. With significant fines levied in the event of serious violations.