Allow Influencers to Promote Registered Crypto Firms, French Senators Say

Lawmakers in the French National Assembly are seeking to effectively ban social media crypto promotions, but a key Senate committee appears to favor lighter restrictions.

AccessTimeIconMay 3, 2023 at 9:52 a.m. UTC
Updated May 3, 2023 at 8:03 p.m. UTC

Social media influencers would be allowed to promote products of registered crypto companies like Binance under proposals agreed by the French Senate’s Economics Committee on Wednesday.

Senators appear to favor less restrictive measures than their counterparts in Paris’ National Assembly, who in March voted to effectively ban crypto ads by social media stars.

​​The amendment, passed in committee and set to be discussed in the Senate plenary next week, would allow crypto companies to pay for publicity via influencers if they are either registered with or have a license from regulators.

The Senate plan aligns the bill with the existing French Consumer Code, according to an explanatory note by lead lawmaker Amel Gacquerre, a member of the Centrist Union party. The bill also clamps down on influencers advertising cosmetics and gambling.

The National Assembly previously took a tougher line, saying that influencers should only be allowed to promote products from crypto companies that have a license from the Financial Markets Authority – which, in practice, no firm has. In contrast, dozens of companies including Binance, Bitstamp and eToro have registered with the regulator, which confirms they meet money laundering and governance norms.

The bill would normally have to be agreed by both Senate and Assembly to pass into law. Industry lobby group ADAN, which has previously said the Assembly’s position could harm the country’s aspiration to be a crypto hub, tweeted on Wednesday that the committee's stance was “encouraging.”

French lawmakers have also tightened up registration conditions as they seek to prepare for new European Union rules known as the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation, which sets tougher rules for stablecoin issuers, wallet providers and crypto exchanges.

Edited by Sandali Handagama.


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Jack Schickler

Jack Schickler was a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.