Crypto memes are now a danger to all, apparently. That is, according to the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The organisation is taking an iron-fisted approach towards “finfluencers” — financial influencers — when it comes to crypto. And their latest crackdown is targeting memes used on social media.
In a set of proposed guidelines unveiled earlier this week, the financial watchdog has turned its attention to the use of promotional memes. Social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Threads, and Discord were given a good mention.
Crypto memes danger
Crypto memes are a hallmark of the crypto sphere. However the FCA argues that many meme makers are unaware that these memes are classified as promotional materials and as such fall under the same rules as any other financial content.
So the FCA have hurled out new guidelines in a big boring document to ensure strict adherence to the FCA’s advertising regulations by crypto businesses. We read it so you don’t have to. You are welcome.
The craziest thing they say in all of this, is that if you operate a business that isn’t in the UK, but UK people see it, you could still be in trouble. Yeah nah, that’s poppycock old fellow, you can calm down over there thanks Tarquin.
John Bassilios, Partner at Hall and Wilcox, is a fintech and blockchain lawyer. He told The Chainsaw, “The general principle is that if you if you are in any way, targeting people in another jurisdiction, with whatever it is that you’re doing, then you are subject to that jurisdiction’s laws. This is irrespective of where you are located.”
If it is on Twitter, however, you could argue that it isn’t targeting any jurisdiction. But, the general principle stands. Bassilios explained: “The person is not likely to get in trouble if no one ever acted on it, or didn’t cause any detriment to anyone.”
Finfluencers are being watched
The FCA’s watchful eye extends beyond just memes; it is also taking a keen interest in financial influencers who use social media as their platform to promote crypto without proper authorisation.
The rise of “finfluencers,” has been notable, with an increasing number of them endorsing investment and credit products on social media. These influencers, often seen as trustworthy advisors, hold significant sway over their followers, especially with the younger demographic. A study revealed that more than 60% of individuals between 18 to 29 years old follow such influencers, with around 32.5% claiming to trust their advice implicitly.
If you have a crypto business and you are making crypto memes for your UK customers, a new day is on the horizon.
Regulation is probably a good idea. But memes? Come now, Old Bean, it’s been yonks since your tiara gave you ruling powers.