On Wednesday, the French Senate’s Economics Committee discussed their views on the social media influencers associated with the crypto industry. Reportedly, the senators agreed on a proposal that allows these influencers to promote products of registered crypto firms.
As evident, French senators intend to opt for less restrictive measures than their counterparts in Paris’ National Assembly, who in March voted to effectively ban crypto ads by social media stars.
Notably, the proposed amendment which was passed by the Senate Committee is now set to be discussed in the Senate plenary next week. Sources reveal that the amendment intends to allow crypto companies to pay for publicity via influencers if they are either registered with or have a license from regulators.
In an explanatory note, a lead French lawmaker Amel Gacquerre who is a member of the Centrist Union party said that the Senate plan aligns the bill with the existing French Consumer Code. In addition, the bill clamps down on influencers advertising cosmetics and gambling.
As reported by Todayq News, the French National Assembly previously maintained a tougher stance on influencers. They stated that the influencers should only be allowed to promote products from crypto companies that have a license from the Financial Markets Authority and notably, no firm has yet secured this license. Violating these prohibitions was said to result in a two-year prison sentence and a 30,000 euro ($32,600) fine.
However, as far as registration with the regulator goes, dozens of companies have registered with the regulator confirming compliance with anti-money laundering and governance norms.
Reportedly, the bill would have to be passed by both Senate and Assembly to pass into law. The Senate’s step was welcomed by the crypto industry. ADAN, an Industry lobby group, which previously said the Assembly’s position could harm the country’s aspiration to be a crypto hub, took to Twitter to appreciate the move. He tweeted that the Committee’s stance was “encouraging.”
However, it is important to note that France is not the only region to be stressing over the authority and responsibility of influencers in promoting crypto products. The UK regulators sent out a strict warning to “finfluencers” against promoting get-rich-quick schemes and other risky investments.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) also collaborated to launch a campaign aimed at preventing influencers from recommending unsafe financial products.
In the USA, the Securities and Exchange Commission banned Kim Kardashian from promoting EthereumMax without reporting it to the authorities. She has agreed to pay $1.26 million in fines to settle things with the regulator and has been banned from promoting any crypto asset securities for the next three years.
Talking of Europe, it is important to note that the MiCA has already been passed and it had certain provisions for crypto influencers. One of these provisions was flagged by Patrick Hansen, director of EU strategy and policy at Circle in November. He stated that based on the wording, social media comments by crypto influencers without disclosure may result in legal consequences and could even lead to accusations of market manipulation.