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Crypto Influencers Face $300K Fines in Spain's Advertising Crackdown

Spain is the latest to take a hardline on crypto advertising campaigns, including tough fines for influencers who fail to comply.

3 min read
Spain. Image: Shutterstock

The National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) of Spain has cracked down on cryptocurrency advertising, per the Financial Times

“We are very excited about how this will bring some order to how crypto is promoted, not just through traditional media but also through influencers,” Rodrigo Buenaventura, the head of the CNMV, told the Financial Times in an interview. 

“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.”

What rules have Spain imposed?

The new rules apply to crypto companies, marketing companies hired by said firms, and influencers. 

Influencers will specifically have to disclose if they are remunerated for promoting cryptocurrencies. If that is the case, Spain’s new rules require said influencers to include “clear, balanced, impartial and non-misleading” statements about the risks of crypto. 

What’s more, if any influencer or outlet set to launch a crypto ad campaign has over 100,000 followers in Spain, the CNMV requires at least ten days of notice of their promotions. 

Should any influencer or platform fail to comply, they may face a fine as high as €300,000 ($342,000). 

According to Buenaventura, Spain won’t be the only EU Member State to adopt similar rules soon—rather than simply wait for direction from the EU. 

“Like Spain has now done, other countries are deciding not just to wait a couple of years for the EU regulation to decide everything but to take on areas like publicity,” he said. 

Crypto ads—a growing concern

Spain’s rules have come following Spanish football star Andres Iniesta’s paid Binance promotion, but this is not the first time crypto ads have come under fire elsewhere in the world. 

In the UK, the Advertising Standards Authority has clamped down on crypto ads published from companies ranging from Crypto.com and Coinbase to Papa Johns and Arsenal Football Club

Just today, the Singaporean financial services regulator—the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)—also imposed rules designed to govern how crypto ads reach the public. 

In Singapore, crypto companies are now only permitted to advertise their services directly via their own website, mobile apps, or official social media accounts. In other words, these companies have been told not to engage with third parties like social media influencers.

The likes of Kim Kardashian, Floyd Mayweather, and Paul Pierce have all recently been sued over their roles as influencers in crypto ads. 

“The public should not be encouraged to engage in the trading of DPTs [cryptocurrencies],” said the MAS.

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