French Lawmakers Strike Softer Deal on Crypto Influencer Law

A final compromise appears to allow registered crypto firms to advertise through social media influencers, potentially easing industry fears.

AccessTimeIconMay 25, 2023 at 2:28 p.m. UTC
Updated May 26, 2023 at 9:58 a.m. UTC

French lawmakers on a key legislative committee have unanimously agreed to new rules restricting crypto promotions by social media influencers, according to a Thursday statement from the country’s Senate.

According to a statement by Arthur Delaporte and Stéphane Vojetta, who led negotiations in the National Assembly, the deal allows promotions for products of any crypto firm that has registered with the Financial Markets Authority – a softer line than they had previously taken.

The new law, which may be the first in Europe to regulate social media personalities who do paid marketing – and includes areas such as cosmetics and gambling – was the subject of disputes between the two chambers of the French legislature.

An Assembly draft of the influencers bill would have effectively banned crypto publicity through influencers by restricting it to digital asset companies with a license. That plan raised concerns from the industry, which warned the rules could jeopardize the country’s ambitions to be a crypto hub.

Senators favored gentler restrictions, saying social media influencers should be allowed to promote any company that gained registration – a much broader category that currently includes dozens of companies such as Binance and Bitstamp.

The Joint Mixed Committee, which includes representatives from both chambers, subsequently published a draft of the agreed legislative text.

On Wednesday, the European Commission proposed new rules, which would make regulated investment firms responsible for content that they pay or encourage a social media “finfluencer” to promote. If passed into law, those proposals would apply across the European Union, including France.

UPDATE (May 26, 09:58 UTC): adds link to legislative text.

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.