France’s Senate Committee on Economic Affairs has made changes to a proposal under Bill No. 790 previously passed in the National Assembly. The original bill would have made it incredibly hard for crypto companies, including exchanges, from using the services of commercial social media influencers in their marketing campaigns.
Reviewing The Strict Bill
The content of the latest version of Bill No. 790, reviewed by the Senate Committee, is “more relaxed” than the one passed by the National Assembly.
Specifically, it eliminates the need for crypto firms to get licensed after being registered by the country’s regulator, Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) before soliciting the services of an influencer to market their services.
Related Reading: Why Bank Of France Is Calling For A Stringent crypto Licensing
Most importantly, since the previous ban only affected crypto firms licensed by the AMF, the final legislation would have been ineffective because the regulator is yet to license any crypto company.
Still, several cryptocurrency exchanges, including Binance and Bitstamp, have been registered by the AMF and confirmed to have implemented anti-money laundering (AML) measures when facilitating Bitcoin and crypto trading. Despite their presence, Binance and other exchanges have not been licensed.
Therefore, if the Senate’s latest changes are incorporated into the bill before being made into law, it would be easier for crypto firms, even if they have not been licensed by the AMF. This means they will be able to use social media influencers when advertising services and products.
The amended bill will be discussed in the coming days. However, the primary goal will be aligning the bills’ proposal with the French Consumer Code.
Entities found in breach of this code are investigated by agents under the Directorate General for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs, and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) drawn from the Ministry of Economic and Financial Affairs.
Bill Proposed Banning Influencers From Promoting crypto Firms
In March 2023, French lawmakers in the National Assembly floated a bill that was seen by crypto supporters as retrogressive. Lobbyists noted that lawmakers wanted to ban social media influencers from engaging in marketing operations conducted by crypto firms, muffling innovation.
The original proposals, under Bill No. 790, passed by the French National Assembly recommend the express ban of influencers from promoting crypto products or services. It was to be implemented regardless of whether the crypto company has been registered and licensed by AMF to operate in France.
Related Reading: crypto Firms In France To Operate With Licenses
Legislators claimed the content of this bill would better protect citizens from potential risks associated with cryptocurrency products and services, some of which are promoted by influencers. And in the wake of the FTX collapse, policymakers argued that some influencers have been promoting scams because there was no consequence.
If the bill had been passed and made into law, there will be a 2-year prison term and a 30,000 euro fine for violators who engage influencers but fail to register with the AMF.
As France prepares for new rules under the Markets in crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation, they have, nonetheless, tightened registration requirements for crypto companies.
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