Spain is establishing guidelines related to how influencers, their sponsors, and their supporters promote cryptocurrencies. A company that promotes crypto assets with 100,000 or more followers in the country must notify the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) at least ten days in advance. They’ll face fines of up to €300,000 (around $342,000) for breaching the rules, which come into force on February 17th.
Cryptocurrency influencers must disclose if they receive payment for promoting the currency. Then they should provide clear and impartial warnings about the risks of crypto, including the fact that investments are unregulated. The rules also cover companies that promote crypto assets, as well as PR companies they hire.
“If influencers weren’t covered there would be a backdoor to avoid regulation,” CNMV chief Rodrigo Buenaventura told the Financial Times. “This is new terrain, for us and for them, and there will be moments of friction but that always happens when you bring in rules for something that wasn’t regulated before.”
According to reports, this is the first time a country in the European Union has brought in such a directive. Members of the EU have yet to agree on how to regulate crypto. In the meantime, Buenaventura notes, member states are tackling some crypto-related matters, including how they’re advertised.
Some influencers who have plugged crypto assets and related products have found themselves in hot water. In July, French authorities fined a reality TV star €20,000 ($22,800) for “misleading commercial practices” over a Bitcoin trading site ad on Snapchat. Kardashian and Mayweather are being accused of participating in a pump-and-dump scheme in a class-action lawsuit filed this month.