French social media influencers will no longer be allowed to promote digital assets under a proposed new law by the country’s ruling party.
Two French lawmakers—one being Stéphane Vojetta, from President Emmanuel Macron’s ruling Renaissance Party—tabled the draft bill before the National Assembly’s Economics Committee recently.
🏦Lutter contre les #influenceurs qui arnaquent, et protéger les utilisateurs de plateformes.
C'est notre engagement transpartisan avec cette proposition de loi inédite !
La démocratie se porte mieux en dépassant les clivages pour travailler ensemble.#DirectAN 🔴🟢🟡🔵 pic.twitter.com/Ec1I4UMRh8
— Stéphane Vojetta (@StephaneVojetta) March 22, 2023
The amendment prohibits influencers from promoting digital assets and related services from unlicensed providers. It places these assets alongside other risky investments such as gambling, video games, and health products.
Influencers can only promote digital assets from virtual asset service providers (VASPs) with licenses from the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), the country’s financial services regulator. However, no VASP in France has secured this permit, and so essentially, the draft bill bans influencers from promoting digital assets in the country. Violators will face jail time and a fine of up to €30,000 ($32,600).
The bill was bipartisan, with legislators from the opposition supporting it. Arthur Delaporte, a socialist from the opposition, co-sponsored the bill.
While tabling it, Delaporte told the Economics Committee he believes it’s time to act “in this period marked by political problems, to regulate a place where politicians have for too long been uninterested.” He was referring to the recent wave of protests in France over pension reforms.
“It’s not about killing liberty; it’s about valuing the work of influencers,” the legislator added.
The Economics Committee voted in favor of the bill. It will then go to the rest of the bicameral parliament—the National Assembly and the Senate—for a vote before it goes to President Macron for his signature.
The bill comes just days after neighboring Belgium announced a new requirement for digital asset ads to come with a stark warning.
Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority now requires these ads to carry the warning: “The only guarantee in crypto is risk.”
Spain and the United Kingdom have also cracked down on digital asset ads. In the former, influencers could face a $340,000 fine for violating a strict code of conduct established by the Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV), the country’s financial regulator.
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