Spanish regulator warns FC Barcelona legend following Binance tweet

The CNMV released some guidelines regarding cryptos back in February

Andrés Iniesta                                 
Andrés Iniesta, seen playing for FC Barcelona, in Geneva, Switzerland in August 2014, has received a warning from Spain's regulator CNMV – Photo:Alamy
                                

Andrés Iniesta, the former FC Barcelona footballer who now plays for the Vissel Kobe team in Japan’s J1 League – the top tier of football in the country – received a warning from the Spanish market regulator after his tweet regarding crypto and Binance.

Binance is currently the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, which Iniesta mentioned in his tweet.

Iniesta said: “I’m learning how to get started with crypto with Binance,” to which Spain’s Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV – National Securities Market Commission) replied, stating it is best to read up on cryptocurrencies before investing in them or recommending others to do so.

Iniesta, who also played for the Spanish national football team up to 2018, has 25.2 million followers on Twitter. He also placed the post on his Instagram account, which has 38.1 million followers.

The CNMV guidelines   

In February, the CNMV and the Banco de España (the central bank of Spain) released some joint guidelines regarding cryptos.

The guidelines stated that cryptos are “extreme volatile” and “complex”, and show a lack of transparency. They also warned that the European Union (EU) still lacks a regulatory framework to safeguard crypto investors, although it is looking into a regulation for cryptos.    

The guidelines added that cryptos are not considered payment, backed by a central bank or covered by customer protection.

Kim Kardashian and the FCA

This is not the first time a well-known individual has received criticism for a crypto-related post on social media.

Kim Kardashian was criticised by Charles Randell, soon-to-be-outgoing chair of the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), for an Instagram post in which she promoted Ethereum Max in September.

Speaking at the Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime, Randell pointed out that Kardashian did keep in line with Instagram rules by disclosing that it was an #AD (advertisement). However, she did not “have to disclose that Ethereum Max – not to be confused with Ethereum – was a speculative digital token created a month before by unknown developers – one of hundreds of such tokens that fill the crypto-exchanges”.

The FCA chair said: “I can’t say whether this particular token is a scam. But social media influencers are routinely paid by scammers to help them pump and dump new tokens on the back of pure speculation. Some influencers promote coins that turn out simply not to exist at all.”

Randell added that, considering Kardashian had 250 million Instagram followers at the time, “it may have been the financial promotion with the single-biggest audience reach in history”.

He then reminded everyone at the time that cryptos are not regulated by the FCA and that people should be prepared to lose all their money if they buy into cryptos.

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