Previously, there was a stringent proposal in France that limited the marketing capabilities of influencers strictly to licensed cryptocurrency firms. But, intriguingly, no such licensed firms existed within the country’s borders then. That created a dilemma for crypto companies and strained the industry’s potential growth.
The Original Bill’s Proposal and Its Drawbacks
The proposed bill, first introduced in March, aimed to impose significant restrictions on influencer marketing strategies employed by locally-registered cryptocurrency entities. The initial draft mandated that only crypto firms with valid licenses could leverage influencer marketing.
Even though all crypto companies are obligated to register with the regulator, obtaining a license was neither mandatory nor currently feasible given that no licensed crypto firms existed in France.
On May 25, a groundbreaking announcement came from the French Senate. They declared a unanimous agreement on a bill designed to regulate influencer promotions across a wide range of industries. This decision marked a pivotal moment in the evolution of influencer marketing and its intersection with the burgeoning world of cryptocurrencies.
Revised Requirements: A More Balanced Approach
The updated bill presents a more nuanced approach, requiring only that crypto firms be registered with the Financial Markets Authority (AMF), France’s financial regulatory body. This amendment was confirmed by French lawmakers Arthur Delaporte and Stéphane Vojetta. However, the exact phrasing of the finalized bill remains to be disclosed.
France currently hosts approximately 60 crypto firms registered with the AMF, but none have availed of the optional licensing.
According to Delaporte and Vojetta’s interpretation of the revised bill, “only financial products and cryptocurrencies from players registered with the AMF may be promoted.” Additionally, the capabilities of financial watchdog agents and the regulator for consumer affairs will be enhanced.
Penalties and Restrictions
Non-compliance with the revised regulations can lead to severe penalties. These include a potential two-year imprisonment term, a hefty 300,000 euro fine (equivalent to roughly $322,000), and the possible prohibition of the influencer’s promotional activities.
The revised bill also extends restrictions to promoting other products, such as nicotine products like vapes, and prohibits displaying sports betting and gambling products to minors.
This legislative progression in May comes when the Senate’s Committee on Economic Affairs has endorsed an amendment that permits AMF-registered crypto firms to engage in influencer marketing.
The landmark decision offers a more balanced approach to regulation, encouraging the crypto industry’s growth while ensuring consumers’ safety and the financial market’s integrity.
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