The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is about to begin a large crackdown on crypto ads that tend to mislead people and push gullible investors into investing and trading in them without understanding the risks that are involved.
The latest action comes in part due to the ad campaign run by the crypto firm Luno which had pushed ads on buses and other public places asking people to buy bitcoin at this time. The ASA said that the ads did not have sufficient warning on the risks that are involved in purchasing bitcoin and other cryptos and seemed to portray that purchasing them was a straightforward thing and could guarantee good returns for the investors which were indeed misleading.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Miles Lockwood, director of complaints and investigations at ASA, said “We see this as an absolutely crucial and priority area for us. Where we do find problems we will crack down hard and fast.”
Of late, we have been seeing the regulatory authorities in the UK coming down hard on the crypto industry with the most important development being the fact that the FCA had announced that Binance, the leading crypto exchange, was not allowed to do business in the UK. Similar action from other authorities like ASA points to a concerted effort by the regulators to clean up the crypto ecosystem in the coming months. Whether this would mean an end to the crypto industry in the UK or whether this is a cleanup to have a fresh start with a regulated ecosystem is something that we would need to wait and see.
The latter approach would be good as the crypto industry had indeed grown out of line and in an unregulated manner in many countries. But the industry is beginning to mature now and this would be the right time for the regulators to step in, clean up the industry so that it can have a fresh, regulated, and authorized start which would have the backing of the authorities and this would in turn help to spur the larger investors to invest into the industry with the backing of the regulation and control. For now, the crypto industry would be watching this with bated breath as the UK is a hub of finance, and its support to the ecosystem is crucial for the crypto industry.