Crypto-influencers will have to be careful with their content

By posting messages related to cryptocurrencies, they could be accused of market manipulation once the MiCa regulation comes into effect.

Will crypto-influencers need to rethink how they communicate with their community? Article 80 of the MiCa regulation (on the Market in crypto-assets) lists the “behaviours” that will be considered market manipulation once the regulation enters into force, around 2024.

If the article does not mention any specific profile, anyone who engages in this practice is targeted, specifies a European source at BFM Crypto. Thus, crypto-influencers, who post numerous messages about cryptocurrencies (or projects related to cryptocurrencies) every day, seem to be in Europe’s sights.

Patrick Hansen, Circle’s director of European strategy – also known as a specialist in European regulation – was the first to reveal this information.

“Beware of crypto-influencers”

“Caution Crypto Influencers: Commenting on these assets on social media without disclosing a link to these assets and profiting from them will be considered market manipulation in the EU once MiCA comes into effect,” he wrote on Twitter.

This practice is defined as “taking advantage of occasional or regular access to traditional or electronic media, forming an opinion about a crypto-asset after taking positions in this crypto-asset, and then profiting from the influence of this opinion on the price of this crypto-asset crypto-asset, without simultaneously bringing this conflict of interest to the attention of the public, in an appropriate and effective manner”, it specifies. European regulation.

The idea is to make market manipulation punishable just like in traditional finance. Therefore, the prohibition of such a practice puts the person who commits it in the position of the offense, confirms our source. The person commenting on such a violation will fall under the existing legislation, it will happen to the competent authorities to receive such a file.

“It’s time for these influencers to get what they deserve”

The evocation of this topic has reacted many members of the crypto community, including on the social network Reddit.

“Promote certain projects and never take responsibility for the losses they cause people. It’s time for these influencers to get what they deserve,” one user considers for example.

At the same time in France, the Financial Markets Authority (AMF) wants to extend its so-called “responsible” influencer certificate in the field of finance and cryptocurrencies through 2022. The certificate makes it possible to ensure that the influencer has attended an awareness course about “deotonological recommendations” of the organization as well as proved his good knowledge of the topic he discusses with his community.

Page specifically mentions recommendations of financial services from 2017, which refers to the ICC Code of Advertising and Commercial Communications of the International Chamber of Commerce.

“Thus, advertising promises for products or services within the field must not in any way: minimize the risk, portray the use of these products or services as gambling, or proceed with an analogy between gambling and the products or services covered by this recommendation”. , can be read.

Despite the future implementation of such a certificate, it is the General Directorate for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF) which remains competent when it comes to sanctioning influencers in the case of derivatives.

An investigation by this organization had notably led to the payment of one fine of 20,000 euros by the influencer Nabilla Benattia-Vergara for “deceptive trading practices” on social networks (promoting a trading training site on Snapchat in 2018) coupled with an advertising measure.

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