France looks to ban influencers from promoting crypto products, projects
The move places digital assets under the same regulatory umbrella as gambling, pharmaceuticals and aesthetic surgery.
The French National Assembly’s Economic Affairs Committee agreed to ban influencers from advertising and promoting unlicensed crypto products and projects on social media.
The ban is part of Bill no. 790, which is the French government’s solution to combatting scams and “excess” perpetrated via influencers on platforms like Instagram and YouTube. It was submitted to the National Assembly by rapporteur Arthur Delaporte and Stéphane Vojetta.
Bill 790 was adopted with a majority vote on March 22 and has passed the first reading stage and will now go to the Assembly and Senate for review and voting.
De facto ban on all crypto promotion
As of March 22, not a single cryptocurrency company is licensed by the French financial regulator under the required article.
This essentially means the bill places a de facto ban on French influencers from talking about any cryptocurrency-related project or company. The move places digital assets under the same regulatory umbrella as gambling, pharmaceuticals and aesthetic surgery.
According to the bill, breaches of the new law will result in jail time of up to two years and €30,000 in fines. Additionally, influencers that are found guilty will not be allowed to use social media or continue their careers.
French influencers involved in scams
Multiple French social media personalities have come under fire recently for a number of things from promoting dodgy crypto projects to allegedly more criminal things like masterminding crypto rug pulls and benefitting from scams.
In January, more than 100 people filed a class action lawsuit against a French influencer couple living in Dubai for promoting crypto investments and trading platforms that were scams.
The lawsuit further alleges that there are additional influencers who were part of the “ring” of scammers. The couple primarily operated on Instagram and their accounts have been suspended by Meta since the lawsuit was filed, according to a Euronews report at the time.
Meanwhile, in 2022, blockchain sleuth ZachXBT revealed on-chain data that linked funds scammed in a rug pull to a famous French influencer Laurent Correia.