Spain is placing restrictions on so-called influencers' promotion of cryptocurrencies in an apparent first for the European Union (EU), according the Financial Times (FT). The country's markets regulator, the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), now has the power to regulate crypto ads.
Starting in a month's time, influencers and their sponsors will be required to notify authorities in advance of posts promoting crypto. They will also have to warn of its risks, the FT reported Monday. Failure to do so will result in fines.
Rodrigo Buenaventura, the head of CNMV, described influencers as "a backdoor to avoid regulation," because they are not subject to the same rules as traditional media.
One of the triggers for the new requirements was World Cup winning soccer star Andrés Iniesta's promotion of crypto exchange Binance last November.
Hola,@andresiniesta8, los criptoactivos, al ser productos no regulados, tienen algunos riesgos relevantes. Es recomendable leer el comunicado de@CNMV_MEDIOS del 9/2/2021 https://t.co/SWRF73xEJj e informarse a fondo antes de invertir en ellos o de recomendar a otros que lo hagan
— CNMV (@CNMV_MEDIOS) November 24, 2021
Iniesta tweeted that he was “learning how to get started with crypto with @binance #BinanceForAll,” to his 25 million followers. The CNMV replied to the tweet, saying that "cryptoassets, being unregulated products, carry some significant risks.”
Authorities in other jurisdictions have taken similar moves to curb crypto firms' abilities to advertise.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) today ordered that digital assets companies should not market their services to the public whether in newspapers, magazines, broadcast media or social media. The MAS had determined that crypto is "highly risky and not suitable for the general public."