Following the increasing interest in cryptocurrencies over the past few years, many influencers also got into the race – some of them followed by hundreds of thousands of people around the world. But how do we know whether they are fully transparent? Whether there is no conflict of interest? Whether they really know the crypto ecosystem or are just trying to scam their followers?
For greenhorns in the crypto world looking for advice, distinguishing honest from malicious influencers may be tricky.
As a reminder, French Advertising Self-authority Regulation (ARPP) implemented a “responsible influence” certificate in 2021, to guarantee advertisers that “the influencer is aware of the ethical rules and legislation in force regarding the promotion of products on Social Media (including environmental issues, health, cosmetics, food products, gambling, etc.), and that he or she is transparent with his or her audiences regarding his or her commercial collaborations.”
After following an online module on a specific topic, influencers must submit a questionnaire (with at least 75% of good answers) to get the Holy Grail – a sound initiative that was not applied to finance though.
French AMF and ARPP recently announced their willingness to extend the certificate to the world of finance, and more specifically to cryptocurrencies. Influencers will be fully aware of the ethical rules and could then prove their sound knowledge of the financial ecosystem.
Although this certificate will give a certain credibility to influencers, it will neither approve their content nor allow them to sell any type of financial product.
In an official statement, AMF highly recommended investors “to obtain information from reliable sources before making an investment decision, to gradually build up a stock market culture and be wary of unrealistic promises of quick, effortless and risk-free gains”.
AMF also reminds that French General Directorate for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) is the only competent authority to sanction influencers in case of abuse.