French government agents target crypto influencers

The French government has formed a new task force tasked with identifying and addressing the surge of influencers seeking to monetize their audiences via paid advertising sponsorships from cryptocurrency businesses.

The AMF’s representative was keen to emphasise why the watchdog had deployed agents to assist in probing crypto shilling and frauds – and one word summed it up perfectly: influencers.

“In recent years, social networks and influencers have emerged as a new access point,” stated the AMF official. “In this manner, a younger audience with a less affluent background than the usual target of investment frauds, notably in the area of trading, is now impacted.

“Because influencers often advocate highly volatile cryptocurrencies and financial goods, newbies find it very difficult to foresee changes.”

The Macron administration’s stance on influencers has shifted.

Indeed, the Macron government has a checkered history with social media influencers – particularly when it comes to managing digital areas – so it’s encouraging to see authorities making a concerted effort to actively investigate online advertising potential.

Just a few weeks ago, film surfaced showing Marlene Schiappa (Minister for Citizenship) cheerily dancing uncovered and undistanced among a group of prominent French influencers at a gathering ostensibly promoting women’s rights awareness.

However, the task force may be tied in part to the unbridled riches accumulated by French influencers, whose profits are subject to a 3% digital services tax (introduced in 2019). When contrasted to the nation’s high personal tax rates (which hover around 30%), the disparity has the potential to become a searing injustice in a Republic proudly established on egalitarian principles.

Beware of ‘Finluencers’

Numerous influencers have morphed into ‘finluencers’ (financial influencers) — duped by attractive paid marketing packages – even celebrities have gotten involved; Kim Kardashian pushed the ‘Ethereum MAX’ rug pull, which landed her in hot water with the British Financial Conduct Authority (Ethereum max is now down a whopping 99.99 percent.

And hundreds of retail investors have lost money as a result of internet excitement around fraudulent coins – such as Squid Game – that used influencer endorsements to indicate project legitimacy, even fooling sources like as the BBC into giving coverage.

In one instance – touted as the impetus for the establishment of the new task force – model Nabilla Benattia-Vergara was successfully prosecuted, resulting in a €20,000 fine in the summer for paid promotional material uploaded on her snapchat storey on behalf of a sketchy crypto exchange.

With several influencers being held accountable for paid shilling this year, all eyes will be on the task force to determine the task force’s effectiveness in combating fraudsters and paving the way for a more legitimised market with genuine retail safeguards.

Also Read: The Ethereum Project Airdrops A Scam Token And Then Flees