Kim Kardashian’s bizarre Instagram post invokes fury from UK regulator
If this is not absolute clarity that today’s investment markets are led by communities, public forums and VIP influencers, then what is?
Kim Kardashian, one of the world’s most famous social personalities, revered businesswomen and perhaps even more importantly, mega-influencer with a massive global following, has begun to speak out on the future of crypto.
When a public figure with this much media clout begins to proactively court the world’s press and begin to be a thought leader on cryptocurrency, it is clear that this is where the clever money is.
First Elon Musk, now Kim Kardashian.
Whilst Elon Musk has managed to swing the currently fashionable climate zeal in his favor and influence the price of the most popular cryptocurrencies up and down to the value of amounts previously unthinkable, and has used this relatively newly acquired status as a self-opinionated market mover to his advantage.
He is now one of the richest men in the world, and that did not happen by simply selling electric cars and taking the company that makes them onto a public exchange.
It was largely done by his approach toward cryptocurrency, how he trades it, how he stores it, and perhaps most importantly how he uses the world’s media as a platform so that he can push forward his advocacy status with challengers such as Dogecoin.
Musk’s method is purely a technological advancement one, whereas Kim Kardashian has taken the consumer protection route.
Everyone likes a big star that aligns themselves with a product which they can position as ‘the next big thing’, it’s part of the Hollywood culture of stars maintaining the interest of their fans, and in this respect, Kim Kardashian has waded in with a perhaps predictable approach – plugging things to her Instagram followers with carefree abandon.
As perhaps expected, Kim Kardashian immediately attracted the attention of those with an interest in new digital currencies, and therefore it is the regulators themselves that have responded by calling out Ms Kardashian rather than the anti-progress, anti-new technology and anti-capitalist groups she perhaps had intended.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom is a highly respected financial markets regulatory authority, and regulates firms in the country whose capital city is the world’s largest financial center – London.
Charles Randell, Chairman of the FCA has publicly called out Kim Kardashian in a speech which he made yesterday in London, who, he noted, recently plugged “Ethereum Max” to 250 million Instagram followers.
“In line with Instagram’s rules, she disclosed that this was an #AD,” Randell said. “But she didn’t 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” Mr Randell clarified.
Cryptocurrencies are community generated and by their very nature free from any form of copyright or central issuer, therefore it is very easy for any developer to come up with a new one and give it a similar name to an existing one, therefore having the ‘halo effect’ of the established cryptocurrency with which it shares a similar name.
This is a classic case of a developer trying to ride on the back of the technological prowess and success of ethereum by hoping that people will associate Ethereum Max with it.
Mr Randell went on to be quite outspoken, referring to this type of scenario with an amusing anecdote, saying “The Augean stables hadn’t been cleaned for 30 years when Hercules was set the labor of cleaning them. For 30 years, 3,000 animals had been doing in those stables what 3,000 animals have to do,” Randell said. “The first website was published 30 years ago last month. And like the Augean stables, over the last 30 years the internet has filled up with a great deal of … well, let’s just call it ‘problematic content.'”
This is why all cryptocurrency traders, investors and users of blockchain technology should look toward choosing a regulated exchange. Regulated exchanges will always work within the parameters of what is permitted by the authorities and will therefore be able to act as a genuine on and off ramp for fiat currencies into a world of possibilities in blockchain technology, cryptocurrency trading and even commercial uses such as settlement.
The US government has already demonstrated clearly that it views a full set of regulatory parameters as the sustainable path for the growth of cryptocurrency and its already extremely diverse and versatile infrastructure, and Estonia, where CoinMetro has been regulated since its establishment, is the most digitally advanced society in the world.
Influencing via Instagram may be a bit passe these days, and will continue to be if the regulators keep refining their move toward full regulation of the crypto world, meaning that misleading advertisements and financial advice from unregulated influencers such as Kim Kardashian would not be permitted.
The only way not to fall down a hole as large as that is to work with a regulated exchange and speak to members of staff at that exchange who will point out the full details of each instrument to ensure that nobody can be misled.
If the FCA chairman can speak in such a verbose and disapproving fashion, that speaks volumes.