Spain is tightening its surveillance on the promotion of cryptocurrencies. If there are advertisements for a target audience of more than 100,000 people, the Spanish regulator must be informed in advance. If this is not met, fines of up to 300,000 euros can follow. The measure has consequences for so-called ‘finfluencers’, or influencers in the financial sector.
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The new regulations are contained in a Spanish-language document from the Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores, or Spain’s National Securities Market Commission. In the press release, CNMV writes that this regime of prior communication in mass advertising campaigns means that a notification must be made to the regulator at least ten days before publication. If this is not met, fines of up to 300,000 euros can follow.
The circular does not contain any regulations related to the advertised products, their suppliers or the services associated with them. So there is no regulation with regard to direct content. However, it is now prescribed that the campaigns are clear, balanced and fair and do not contain misleading content.
It should also include prominent information about the risks and include a standard worded warning: “Investments in crypto assets are not regulated. They may not be suitable for retail investors and the full amount invested may be lost.”
The rules apply not only to service providers that trade and advertise in cryptocurrencies, but also to advertising services and natural or legal persons who engage in this type of activity on their own initiative or on behalf of third parties. Influencers are also mentioned. The circular will come into effect on February 17.
Rodrigo Buenaventura, the director of the CNMV, said in an interview with the Financial Times that he was very happy with these new rules. According to him, it will bring some order to the way cryptocurrencies are promoted, not only through the traditional media, but also through influencers. Influencers will also have to announce in Spain whether they do their promotion for a fee.
The arrival of these Spanish rules is probably partly the result of the lack of EU rules for the time being. Such regulation is being discussed in a European context and proposals have been made, but no agreement has yet been reached. Buenaventura says Spain and other countries are now deciding not to wait ‘a few more years’ for EU rules.
Spain is about the first European country to establish rules and a regime in this way to specifically regulate the promotion of cryptocurrencies. France has been paying more attention to influencers who promote cryptocurrencies since the end of last year.
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