French Senate’s Shift on Crypto Influencer Ads: Balancing Growth with Consumer Protection

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In an interesting turn of events, the French Senate’s Economics Committee has agreed to a proposal that would allow social media influencers to promote products of registered cryptocurrency companies, such as Binance. This move demonstrates a preference for less restrictive measures, as opposed to the stance taken by the National Assembly in March, which effectively voted to ban crypto advertisements by social media stars.

Under this amendment, which is expected to be discussed in the Senate plenary next week, companies registered with or licensed by regulators would be able to utilize influencer marketing. This approach aligns the bill with France’s existing Consumer Code, according to an explanatory note provided by lead lawmaker Amel Gacquerre, a member of the Centrist Union party. The same amendment would also regulate influencer advertising for cosmetics and gambling.

This proposal is in stark contrast to the National Assembly’s previous position, arguing that influencers should only be allowed to promote products from cryptocurrency companies with a license from the Financial Markets Authority – something which no firm has in practice. In comparison, numerous companies such as Binance, Bitstamp, and eToro are registered with this French regulatory body, confirming compliance with money-laundering standards and governance norms.

For this bill to pass into law, both the Senate and Assembly would have to reach an agreement. Industry lobby group ADAN, which has previously stated the Assembly’s position could potentially damage France’s ambition of becoming a crypto hub, expressed encouragement at the Economics Committee’s decision on Wednesday.

It’s important to note that French lawmakers have tightened registration conditions in light of new European Union rules known as the Markets in Crypto Assets regulation (MiCA). These rules bring about stricter regulations for stablecoin issuers, wallet providers, and crypto exchanges.

While the proposed amendment by the Economics Committee may signal a positive shift in attitude towards the cryptocurrency industry, skeptics argue that allowing influencers to promote financial products could be risky, as social media stars might lack the proper understanding or knowledge of the regulatory landscape. The debate highlights the ongoing struggle to balance the need for promotion and growth of the crypto sector on one hand while ensuring consumer protection on the other.

Undoubtedly, the outcome of this amendment and its potential impact on France’s cryptocurrency market will be closely watched by other countries grappling with similar issues. The ultimate decision reached by the legislative bodies will undoubtedly reflect their stance on the future of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

Source: Coindesk

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