First EU Country To Restrict Cryptocurrencies Advertising By Bloggers
Spain will limit advertising of cryptocurrencies on social networks by popular bloggers, according to a publication in the country’s government newspaper. This is the first such decision in the European Union, the Financial Times notes. The authority to regulate advertising was granted to Spain’s National Commission on the Stock Market.
Restrictions on advertising will take effect in a month. Bloggers and their sponsors were required to notify the authorities at least 10 days prior to the posts if their audience in Spain exceeds 100 000 users. Otherwise they will face fines of up to €300,000. All bloggers will be required to report on rewards for advertising cryptocurrencies – not just in terms of money payments, but also in other ways. Authors will be required to post « clear, balanced, neutral and honest » messages about the risks posed by cryptocurrencies: that they are unregulated and can lead to the loss of all invested money.
Numerous publicity campaigns and the rise in value of crypto-assets have boosted their appeal, the official publication said. This may have encouraged individual investors to invest in these assets without sufficient information about their nature and associated risks. The Commission and the Bank of Spain had previously warned of the complexity of this technology, the volatility and potential lack of liquidity of these investment items, authorities said.
Authorities expect regulation to bring « some order » to the promotion of cryptocurrencies – not only through traditional media, but also through bloggers, Stock Market Commission chief Rodrigo Buenaventura told the FT. By putting bloggers’ advertising under control, he said, the authorities have closed a loophole to circumvent legal requirements. As this is a new situation for both the authorities and bloggers, there will inevitably be « lapping it up », but this is a normal situation, Buenaventura added.