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Spain’s Regulator Penalizes Crypto Promotions Violating its Rules

2 mins
Updated by Geraint Price
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In Brief

  • The National Securities Commission in Spain has started legal action against a crypto company that violated its promotion rules in 2022.
  • The regulator said this disciplinary action for non-compliance is the first of its kind and should be a reminder that no one is above law.
  • The UK FCA released new advertising rulebook that has seen many companies exit the region because of an inability to comply with the new law.
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The National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) of Spain has commenced disciplinary action against Spanish technology company Miolos S.L. (Miolos) for violating crypto promotion rules that may mimic similar rules laid out by the UK FCA. The regulator alleges that Miolos launched two campaigns in 2022 that violated the CNMV’s requirement to submit material ten days before publication.

Miolos also allegedly excluded warnings about the risks of crypto. The CNMV issued a circular with the promotion rules in January 2022.

Spain’s CNMV Warns Crypto Promotion Offenders

Crypto asset campaign operators must communicate efforts targeting more than 10,000 individuals to the CNMV 10 days before launch. Head of the financial regulator, Rodrigo Buenaventura, said this is the first case to be opened for non-compliance with its rules.

“This is the first sanctioning proceeding to be opened for non-compliance with the circular regulating the advertising of cryptoassets.”

The financial regulator said the enforcement action was “to remind the public of the need to follow and respect” its regulations. In addition to the Miolos case, the regulator is investigating four other potential infringements.

Read more: How To Create a Crypto Marketing Strategy

Spain plans to enforce the European Union’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) bill earlier than most countries. It wants to benefit from the bill’s legal clarity and investor protection laws.

Crypto Market Spain
Crypto Market Spain | Source: Statista

On Wednesday, US crypto and stockbrokerage Robinhood announced plans to launch in the EU because of the clarity that European rules afford. Robinhood’s CEO, Vlad Tenev, said that clear rules would allow it to offer “select” crypto assets to millions of customers.

In the meantime, the European Banking Authority is developing liquidity requirements for stablecoins ahead of the launch of MiCA. The consultation paper came days after the Bank of England and the UK Financial Conduct Authority issued proposals for stablecoin payment systems.

Read more: What is a Stablecoin? A Beginner’s Guide

Spain Can Learn From FCA Rules

The FCA’s new crypto promotion rules only allow registered and authorized companies to release crypto promotions. The regulator has only authorized a handful of companies to release advertising material on behalf of other companies.

The move has seen many crypto companies exit or be added to the regulator’s alert list for non-compliance. Among those seeking help from authorized firms are Coinbase and OKX.

A 2019 opinion piece in the Financial Times said the FCA’s detailed rules sometimes conflict with the general rules of doing business fairly and treating customers well. The relative dearth of companies that have been able to comply with its advertising rules could be a lesson for Spain’s regulator to avoid burdensome rules that confuse stakeholders.

Do you have something to say about CNMV crypto promotion rules in Spain, the FCA UK rules, or anything else? Please write to us or join the discussion on our Telegram channel. You can also catch us on TikTokFacebook, or X (Twitter).

Top crypto platforms in the US | February 2024

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David Thomas
David Thomas graduated from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in Durban, South Africa, with an Honors degree in electronic engineering. He worked as an engineer for eight years, developing software for industrial processes at South African automation specialist Autotronix (Pty) Ltd., mining control systems for AngloGold Ashanti, and consumer products at Inhep Digital Security, a domestic security company wholly owned by Swedish conglomerate Assa Abloy. He has experience writing software in C,...
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