The Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) is considering a review of cryptocurrency advertising that could lead to a crackdown on the promotion of digital assets.
The self-regulatory body is responding to the growing popularity and increased promotion of companies trading crypto assets, such as B. Floki, in a largely unregulated market.
ASAI has also started filing more complaints about crypto ads that don’t fully explain the products and services being advertised — or the risks they might pose to customers.
“ASAI is considering evaluating whether additional rules and/or guidance are needed given the emerging trend in cryptocurrency advertising,” a spokesperson confirmed Irish Independent.
“ASAI recognizes concerns about consumer knowledge of cryptocurrencies. In addition to the general rules on truthfulness, honesty and justification, the ASAI Code contains rules on financial advertising.”
These rules state that advertisers should not take advantage of customers’ inexperience and should make it clear that investments can go down as well as up.
In February, ASAI upheld a complaint about crypto coin Floki, which said the advertiser failed to include a warning about the asset’s variable value, forcing the company to remove the ad.
An ASAI review could result in either updated industry guidance on the Code or a change in the Code itself.
Recent reviews by social media influencers and mobile companies have resulted in new guidance on existing rules to bring advertisers in line, rather than sweeping overhauls to the code.
The concern of the advertising world is evidence that the noose around the crypto industry is tightening as regulators keep up with the rapidly evolving world of crypto investing and speculation that has exploded in recent years.
Last month, the CBI issued a warning about the risks of cryptocurrencies amid signs that Russians may be attempting to circumvent financial sanctions through the use of digital assets.
The CBI reiterated its recurring message that crypto assets are “highly risky and speculative” and the subject of misleading advertising and influencer campaigns on social media.
Revenue has confirmed it is “updating and expanding” its guidance on how cryptocurrencies should be treated to reduce tax evasion amid a global crackdown.
Officials are trying to force intermediaries — like exchanges and brokers — to report details of crypto trades, which would make it harder for investors to protect their returns from taxation. Currently, Revenue relies entirely on self-declaration by individuals. Revenue also addresses issues related to crypto income and profits of non-residents, as well as ways to tax crypto assets held by Irish residents outside of Ireland.
Last month, the UK advertising regulator issued a writ to more than 50 crypto companies, warning them not to pressure people into buying crypto assets on credit or exchanging more protected assets like pension funds for virtual coins or tokens.
https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/watchdog-to-review-guidance-on-crypto-ads-41540005.html Watchdog reviews crypto advertising guidelines