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Influencer regulation law & crypto-currency: what does it change?

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On Thursday March 30, the French National Assembly voted in favor of a bill to regulate the activities of influencers, particularly with regard to crypto-currency. Versity takes a look at the news and what it means for the web3 world.


What does the law regulating influencers say about crypto-currency?

The law proposed by the French National Assembly is clear: influencers who promote crypto-currencies will no longer be allowed to do so. More specifically, it prohibits influencers from promoting digital assets that may entail a risk of loss for consideration or in exchange for a benefit in kind.

With one exception, however, PSAN companies may continue to use influencers.


What is PSAN?

PSAN stands for "Protocole de Surveillance et d'Action sur les Menaces Nouvelles et Émergentes". It's an approval set up by France's Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) to monitor and protect investors against the risks associated with crypto-currencies and other digital assets.

The problem is that there are currently no PSAN-approved companies in France. What's more, PSAN is a strict and rigorous scheme that requires lengthy and complex procedures. And even if it's free to apply, it may require companies to take costly internal action (e.g., setting up IT security systems, spending on employee training, regulatory compliance costs, etc.).


What are the consequences for crypto-currency companies and influencers?

Faced with this bill, the Association for the Development of Digital Assets (ADAN), led by influencer Owen Simonin (whose pseudonym is Hasheur), had initiated discussions and proposed alternatives to change the law. Without notable success. A turning point that could have serious consequences for players in the cryptocurrency world.


Indeed, according to Hasheur: "Communication solely via PSAN companies would not allow influencers to subsist. Out of 600 French companies, only 69 are PSAN holders. Around 20 of them have already given a budget for communication, and only 4 or 5 do so regularly.


And what are the solutions in the face of this law framing the promotion of crypto-currencies?

However, non-PSAN companies should still be able to promote their products to the French public, via international media. This is because content aimed at French investors could also be created by French-speaking influencers (Belgium, Canada, Luxembourg...).

Conversely, what type of French people will be able to promote crypto-currencies? French citizens residing abroad, French citizens holding dual nationality or French citizens residing in a tax haven... At present, there are many possible scenarios, and at this stage there still seem to be legal loopholes.

We already know that French influencers who are resident abroad (in Dubai, for example) should refer to contracts governed by French law, and therefore this law in question.

The profession of influencer agent will therefore also be impacted. A written contract will be mandatory when the amounts involved exceed a certain threshold. This contract will have to mention submission to French law, the consumer code and the intellectual property code, following a MoDem amendment. Influencers operating from abroad, such as Dubai, will also be affected by these regulations. They will have to take out civil insurance in the EU to cover any victims. However, the requirement for them to appoint a legal representative in the EU has been withdrawn by the government.

In any case, the bill is now in the hands of the Senate. To be continued.


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