Crypto Advertising Crackdowns Kicking in Around the World Again

January 19, 2022, 10:55 AM AEST - 6 months ago

As quickly as cryptocurrency is increasing its pace of adoption, so too is regulation pertaining to its promotion. Spain, Singapore, and the UK are the latest jurisdictions to have made changes to their advertising regulations.

Spain Releases New Rules for Crypto Influencer Posts

Spanish regulators are advocating to control the way crypto is marketed, focusing specifically on restrictions on influencers’ promotions. The Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV), the governmental organisation responsible for the financial regulation of Spanish securities markets, issued a release on January 17 outlining its new rules.

The CNMV now stipulates that promoting crypto assets must include the following disclaimer: “Investments in crypto assets are not regulated. They may not be appropriate for retail investors and the full amount invested may be lost.”

Influencers or outlets with more than 100,000 followers must also now notify the CNMV on the content of promotions related to crypto with a minimum of 10 days’ notice. Spain’s new rules come into effect next month, and non-compliance may result in fines.

Crypto.com billboard in Singapore’s Orchard Plaza. Source: bloomberg.com

Although this is the first strict regulation for the EU, several other countries have also moved to control how crypto firms and agencies advertise their services. The UK recently banned two ads from Crypto.com because they were deemed to be misleading by the UK’s advertising regulator, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The ASA determined that the Singapore-based exchange’s ads took advantage of consumers’ “inexperience” and failed to make it clear that crypto investments aren’t regulated in the UK.

Singapore Curbs Crypto Marketing

Singapore has also cracked down on crypto marketing to curtail a recent surge in retail trading of digital assets. According to guidelines issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, “the public should not be encouraged to engage in the trading of [digital payment tokens (DPT)].” The regulatory body advised service providers to only market their goods on their own websites, social media and apps, and that they should take care not to trivialise the risk of investing digital assets.

Singapore has also made the decision to ban all ATMs that deal in digital currencies, citing that their convenience and accessibility may mislead the public to trade crypto assets on impulse.

Common Themes? 

The recent cryptocurrency ad crackdown has mainly been fuelled by companies and influencers taking advantage of unwitting and inexperienced crypto customers. Regulation thus far had served to protect consumers against the risks still associated with the unregulated market.

Last year, Google reviewed its policy on advertising after lifting its ban in August, adding specific requirements to which advertisers had to adhere.

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