Crypto influencers: what the Senate vote means for them
Yesterday evening, the senators 🇫🇷 voted for a new version of the law on influencers, with a major relaxation on cryptos. The Big Whale takes a look at the text, which still has to be approved by the joint committee of MPs and senators before it can be definitively adopted.
What text are we talking about?
After a series of scandals, MPs Arthur Delaporte (Socialist Party) and Stéphane Vojetta (related Renaissance) tabled on 31 January a bill to combat "the excesses of influencers on social networks".
This proposed law, supported by most MPs, concerns all sectors, including crypto 👀.
What does the text first adopted by MPs provide for?
On 30 March, MPs adopted the law on first reading. This first version, which was heavily criticised by the crypto sector, is indeed strict: contrary to what had been proposed by some elected representatives such as Éric Bothorel (Renaissance), influencers can only work with companies that have approval as digital asset service providers (PSAN) issued by the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF).
👉 Currently, no crypto companies are approved.
All those that are legally authorised in France only have a PSAN registration (there are around sixty of them), which means that, to date, no company is authorised to work with influencers.
"There are practices that are similar in every way to scams and they clearly need to stop, but the text adopted by the MPs could have penalised everyone, including the most serious operators," explains Mélodie Ambroise, director of strategy and institutional relations at Adan (Association for the Development of Digital Assets).
This "strict" approach, defended by the majority of elected representatives, was adopted to bring the crypto universe into line with that of traditional finance. For shares or more traditional investment products, influencers can only work with financial companies approved by the AMF.
"The aim is for cryptos to have the same regime as other financial assets. That seems pretty obvious," explains Stéphane Vojetta, a Renaissance-related MP and rapporteur for the bill at the National Assembly.
What did the senators vote for?
The version that the senators adopted yesterday, on the other hand, is much more flexible. Crypto influencers are no longer obliged to work with approved companies like PSAN. They can be remunerated by PSAN-registered companies such as Coinhouse, AMF-approved ICO issuers, NFTs projects as well as decentralised finance players (DeFi).
"This approach is much more in line with the needs of the sector. The crypto industry is still young, so we need to create rules without slowing down its development", Mélodie Ambroise is pleased to say. "The text adopted by the senators is less demanding, but it sets out a framework," explains Stéphane Vojetta.
As the Assembly and Senate versions are not the same, there will now be a joint committee (CMP), made up of 7 MPs and 7 senators, to find a consensus between the two versions.
If the 14 elected representatives agree, then the text will be represented in the National Assembly and the Senate in the same version for final adoption; if there is agreement, the text is very generally adopted by both chambers.
If there is no agreement in the CMP, the text will go back to the National Assembly with further work for a second reading. But it seems fairly likely that the deputies and senators will come to an agreement. "We will look at the text in detail, but as it stands, it seems to me to be a good solution", explains Stéphane Vojetta.
The text could then be adopted during June.