The United Kingdom’s advertising regulator, Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), has instructed London-based crypto exchange Luno to make changes to its Bitcoin (BTC) advertisements. The watchdog believes that the Luno’s posters, which read If you’re seeing Bitcoin on the Underground, it’s time to buy, are misleading. Per the regulator, these posters dismiss the risks involved in investing in volatile and unregulated assets, such as BTC.
According to a report, ASA also noted that the placement of the ads was not appropriate, seeing as the posters were placed in Tube Stations and on the sides of London buses. To this end, the watchdog said that the ads did not target a specific audience, seeing as customers that lack the extensive financial knowledge and experience to deal with BTC likely saw the posters.
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Citing Luno’s irresponsibility, ASA said that the company suggested that investing in BTC through it was a straightforward process that leads to profits, which is not the case.
UK regulators intensify scrutiny on crypto firms
According to Susannah Streeter, a senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, a financial services company, ASA is keen on censuring crypto firms that fail to adhere to the strict code of conduct.
However, in the case of Luno, the agency was lenient and accepted the firm’s assurance that its future advertisements would comprise warnings to customers. Specifically, ASA demanded that Luno clarify that the value of BTC can soar and plunge. The regulator also directed that Luno mention that the BTC market is unregulated in the UK in its future ads.
This news comes as UK regulators continue warning citizens about the risks involved in investing in crypto. For instance, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) warned UK citizens that they should be prepared to lose all their money if they invest in cryptocurrencies. The regulator went on to note like all high-risk, speculative investments, consumers should make sure they understand what they’re investing in, the risks associated with investing, and any regulatory protections that apply before dealing with crypto.
Echoing FCA’s sentiments, Andrew Bailey, the governor of the Bank of England said,
I’m going to say this very bluntly again. Buy them only if you’re prepared to lose all your money.
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