Crypto-asset ads mark rise in France

Maria Nikolova

During the period from January to April 2018, the ads related to crypto-assets rose in volume and accounted for 23% of all advertising of investment products and services.

France has registered a significant increase in the volume of ads related to purchase and selling of crypto-assets (and/or cryptocurrencies), according to data contained in the latest Newsletter of the Households Savings Observatory, run by the French financial markets authority AMF.

The data shows that, during the period from January to April 2018, the advertisements of crypto-assets gained market share among ads of investment services and products. The ads of crypto-assets accounted for 23% of all ads of investment products and services during the period in question. They only lag behind ads dedicated to speculative trading, that is online trading of products like FX. The latter accounted for 26% of all investment ads in the first four months of 2018.

Let’s note that earlier this year, the AMF clarified its stance on the regulation of cryptocurrencies and products related to them.

Following an analysis of the legal status of cryptocurrency derivatives, the AMF has reached the conclusion that the platforms offering these products must abide by the authorisation and business conduct rules, and that these products must not be advertised via electronic means. That is, such products fall within the ambit of the famous Sapin 2 law, which prohibits the digital advertising of binary options and certain CFDs which are deemed toxic for investors.

Also, in a recent speech before the Senate, AMF’s Chairman Robert Ophèle made a call regarding ending the offering and advertising of toxic products to French investors.

“I would like to make use of my presence here to plead in favor of an extension of the remit of the provisions of the Sapin 2 law beyond Forex and binary options to allow us to block the access to sites illegally offering investments in various goods – such as diamonds and crypto-assets”.

The AMF chairman reiterated that during the first four months of the year, the consumer information center of the regulator treated more than 4,000 enquiries, with some 700 of them concerning crypto-assets.

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