French crypto influencers also required to obtain certification


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French crypto influencers, like all those in the Finance sector, will also have to obtain a “Responsible Influence Certificate” before they can promote any investments. 

French crypto influencers and the certification to be able to promote investments

In France, the situation involving influencers in the financial sector has seen the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) and the Autorité de Régulation Professionnelle de la Publicité (ARPP) come into play to regulate the activity. 

And indeed, anyone who decides to enter the profession of “commercial influence” will have to obtain a Responsible Influence Certification (or “Responsible Influence Certificate“), directly from the two institutions. 

Such regulation also does not exclude French crypto influencers who, in order to pursue their profession, will also have to obtain the certificate.

The collaboration of the two institutes AMF and ARPP began in 2011, while the “Responsible Influencer Certificate” was launched by ARPP in 2021. However, in July 2022, both AMF and ARPP had announced their plans to create a module specifically for the financial sector. 

To date, ARPP has issued this certificate to nearly 1,000 French influencers who have successfully completed this general online training course on influencer marketing best practices.   

French crypto influencers: how to get certified?

Thus, in France, crypto influencers must join the rest of the influencers in the finance sector and pass the exam to obtain the certification of eligibility.

Specifically, French crypto influencers must obtain a minimum of 75% correct answers to 25 multiple-choice questions

The questions cover investment products (stocks, bonds, ETFs, funds, derivatives) and the various services offered (investment advice, portfolio management, receiving and transmitting orders). 

Not only that, there are also questions about trading, licensed professionals, crypto and digital asset service providers (DASPs), as well as different assets included. 

In this regard, AMF President Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani commented as follows: 

“Protecting retail investors is our top priority. If a publication by an influencer is paid for, it is crucial that the public is clearly informed. Finance is a highly regulated sector, and investment communications must comply with the rules and be clear, accurate, non-misleading, and balanced. It appears that some influencers are unaware of this.

This responsible influence certificate in financial advertising will help to professionalise this field and protect investors from financial products that are too complex or too risky. We encourage professionals who turn to influencers to ensure that they have obtained the certificate.”

Alignment with MiCA’s crypto standards

In France, dedicated institutions are trying to be in the loop about the general regulation of the financial sector, and thus also the crypto sector. 

Indeed, at the end of July, the AMF had announced that it was in the process of updating its crypto regulations to be in line with the European Union’s MiCA Regulations

Among other things, the MFA had strengthened the registration of DASPs, or digital asset service providers, through the DDADUE Act. 

By creating the new Article 721-1-2 of the AMF’s General Regulations, the French financial institution would align the requirements for DASPs with those of CASPs (crypto-asset service providers) under the MiCA. 

The new French crypto regulations will take effect on 1 January 2024.