‘New rules for crypto-influencers’

Last Updated: 3 November 2022

Dutch crypto influencers can expect new rules by 2024. So say several experts on Twitter this week. The European Union is preparing a new set of rules to regulate crypto assets in the broadest sense.

This framework is known as Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) and includes regulation of crypto assets such as stablecoins but also tightening anti-money laundering rules. In October, the European parliament almost unanimously agreed on the draft of this framework, but another round of voting is to follow.

Crypto influencers

Experts report that crypto influencers are also within the scope of the MiCA, says Patrick Hansen, recently appointed strategist and lobbyist in continental Europe for US crypto company Circie, among others.

Circle, along with Coinbase, is the creator and publisher of stablecoin USDC, the regulated counterpart to stablecoins such as Tether (USDT) and BUSD from Binance.

He warns influencers to be transparent about their own portfolio and trading position before giving information and advice on cryptocurrencies. They otherwise risk their promotional activities, on social media in particular, being seen as market manipulation.

From 2024, the rules are due to come into force, including for the Netherlands where it is highly likely that the Financial Markets Authority will supervise so-called finfluencers. It is unclear what impact this will have on crypto influencers based in the Netherlands. Will there be a registration requirement just like for crypto companies (exchanges, brokers, wallet makers)?

From the investment community, the Association of Stockholders (VEB) called on Dutch law minister Franc Weerwind to “ban freestyling finfluencers”. For gambling advertisements, there is already a ban on well-known footballers or other influencers touting gambling sites. The government wants to “protect vulnerable groups and especially young people” with a ban, the minister revealed in a tweet earlier this year.

It is evident that the pressure from governments, regulators and other stakeholders on these finfluencers is going to increase. A large part of the Dutch crypto industry is organised through the United Bitcoin Companies Netherlands, but as yet, influencers are not included in its membership. The question, therefore, is how these will guard against regulations from Brussels or whether they will set up shop outside Europe.

Author

  • Ivan came across the topic of cryptocurrencies in early 2016 and, as an author and enthusiast, has been intensively involved with the topics of cryptocurrencies, blockchain and STOs ever since.

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