Influencers could confront £250,000 fines in Spain for cryptocurrency ads

Influencers could confront £250,000 fines in Spain for cryptocurrency ads




Failure to comply could cost influencers as much as €300,000 (£251,058) from February 17. (Credits: Reuters)

Spain is the latest country to impose strict rules on crypto advertising, including tough fines for influencers who fail to comply.

The National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) of Spain is establishing rules on how influencers, crypto companies and marketing firms promote the digital currencies.

According to the new rules, any influencer or organisation with over 100,000 followers in Spain, has to give the authorities at the minimum ten days of notice before running an ad campaign. 

Failure to comply could cost influencers as much as €300,000 (£251,058) from February 17, when the rules come into effect.

‘We are very excited about how this will bring some order to how crypto is promoted, not just by traditional media but also by influencers,’ Rodrigo Buenaventura, the head of the CNMV, told the Financial Times in an interview. 

‘If influencers weren’t covered there would be a backdoor to avoid regulation,’ said Buenaventura. ‘This is new ground, for us and for them, and there will be moments of friction but that always happens when you bring in rules for something that wasn’t regulated before,’

Influencers will now need to disclose if they receive payment for talking up cryptocurrencies. Spain’s new rules also require influencers to include ‘clear, balanced, impartial and non-misleading’ statements about the risks of crypto, including the fact that investments aren’t regulated.

Spain is introducing the rules following Spanish football star Andres Iniesta’s paid Binance promotion on his Twitter and Instagram accounts. Iniesta was let off with a warning that he should be thoroughly informed about cryptocurrencies before making any investment in them or recommending others to do so. 

except influencers, the rules also cover companies that promote crypto assets, in addition as PR companies they hire.

This is likely the first time a European Union country has brought in such directives regulating crypto while EU members are however to agree on how to control it across the bloc. 

The UK government announced this week that laws to address misleading cryptoasset promotions were in the works. 

In the UK, the Advertising Standards Authority has clamped down on crypto ads published from companies ranging from Crypto.com and Coinbase to Papa Johns and Arsenal Football Club. 

In November last year, Tfl was urged to ban ‘unethical’ cryptocurrency adverts on the tube.

#FLOKI now live in London Underground!

This is indicative of our plan to make the $FLOKI brand one of the most familiar brands in London and the UK!

FLOKI ads will also be going live on 300 buses in London soon! pic.twitter.com/sjyVYi8edo

— Floki Inu (@RealFlokiInu) October 6, 2021

In July, French authorities fined a reality TV star €20,000 (£16,727) for ‘misleading commercial practices’ over a Bitcoin trading site ad on Snapchat.

Kim Kardashian has been named in a class-action lawsuit accusing her of taking part in a ‘pump and dump’ cryptocurrency scam. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage)

Just this month Kim Kardashian and Floyd Mayweather were sued in a class-action lawsuit accusing them of taking part in a ‘pump and dump’ scheme like the Squid Game cryptocurrency scam.

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