Spanish regulators clash with footballer Andres Iniesta over Binance tweets

The Spanish market regulator condemned one of the country’s football heroes for promoting the digital asset platform Binance in social media exchanges, while crypto companies are scrambling to reach sports fans around the world.

The National Securities Market Commission responded to Andres Iniesta, who scored the winning goal in Spain’s 2010 World Cup victory after posting photos of himself apparently using the Binance platform on Twitter.

A tweet released by the regulator late on Wednesday reminded Iniesta that “crypto-assets, as unregulated products, have some related risks.”

The regulator told the Financial Times that it is concerned that athletes and other “influencers” promote cryptocurrencies to audiences who do not necessarily understand how the market works or what regulations apply or not apply.

The intervention of Spanish regulators comes at a time when the promotion of cryptocurrency exchanges and tokens in sports is booming. Crypto.com, a Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange last week Agree to pay 700 million U.S. dollars Won the naming rights for 20 years at the Los Angeles Arena, home of the championship Lakers basketball team.

The committee urged celebrities and influencers to “carefully” recommend “investing in unregulated products with additional risks.” [the] people”.

“All this made us say to Iniesta last night that we admire him and bring us great happiness. Please tell your followers about the risks before recommending; this is also your responsibility,” the regulator said.

Lotte, which owns the Japanese club Victory Ship Kobe, where Iniesta plays, owns a cryptocurrency exchange. Iniesta’s representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a report released on Thursday, the consumer protection non-profit organization Spanish Financial Users Association estimated according to a survey that more than 4.4 million Spaniards have invested in cryptocurrencies, and 41% of them believe that cryptocurrencies are safe.

Iniesta is not the only well-known football player endorsing Binance. Raul Jiménez of Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers, Columbia player James Rodriguez and Atletico Madrid forward Luis Suarez were all under the hashtag #BinanceForAll earlier this month Published photos of his collaboration with Binance.

The cryptocurrency exchange mentioned three sports stars in a post promoting social media competitions last week: “Be creative on #Binance with @jamesdrodriguez, @LuisSuarez9, @Raul_Jimenez9, and you can win,” the organization’s main The account said on Twitter.

The three football players have a total of 39 million followers on Twitter.

Representatives for Jimenez, Rodriguez and Suarez did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Binance said: “We very much agree with the views of Spanish regulators.”

The social media intervention of Spanish regulators echoes the efforts of the British Financial Conduct Authority and other regulators to limit the promotion of cryptocurrencies by influencers and warn especially young investors about the risks of digital assets.

The British regulator launched an online marketing campaign of £11 million, using TikTok advertising and cooperation with Olympic BMX gold medal champion Charlotte Worthington to warn young investors about risky investment.

FCA Marketing Executive Sarah Pritchard (Sarah Pritchard) said last month: “This is the target audience we are worried about not being able to reach.” “We are not communicating through the mechanisms they use and influence them.”

The Spanish Securities Commission stated that the government has required it to regulate encrypted advertising, while the European Union is waiting for the entire EU to regulate encryption. However, the committee has not formally exercised these powers because Spanish advertising regulations have not yet taken effect.

“We realize that we will not reach new audiences through press releases and bulletins-young people or people between 30 and 45 years old, so we are working hard to use other channels, formats, and even different types of languages,” the committee Said.

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