India Releases Regulatory Guidelines for Crypto Advertisements

India’s advertising watchdog has released new rules guiding crypto advertisements, adding to growing proof that the country has chosen to regulate instead of ban cryptocurrencies.

New Guidelines for Crypto Advertisements in India

According to the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), all virtual digital assets (VDAs) adverts must carry a disclaimer that says: “Crypto products and NFTs are unregulated and can be highly risky. There may be no regulatory recourse for any loss from such transactions,” adding that the disclaimer must appear in a way that will be very clear to users.

Terms like ‘currency’, ‘securities’, ‘custodian’ and ‘depositories’ shouldn’t be used in crypto adverts because they can misdirect users into thinking they are regulated products, ASCI said.

In addition, the regulator said that no advertisement must state that crypto offers financial freedom or future profits.

ASCI stated that crypto adverts that provide information on cost or profitability should carry clear, precise, adequate, and updated information, and “Information on past performance should not be provided in any partisan or biased manner, and returns for periods of less than 12 months shall not be included.”

The new guidelines will be effective on or after April 1, 2022, and previous crypto adverts must not be displayed in the public domain unless they are in line with the new rules after April 15.

Subhash Kamath, chairman of ASCI, said the move was made after discussions with stakeholders including the government and the crypto industry.

“Advertising of virtual digital assets and services requires specific guidance, considering that this is a new and as yet an emerging way of investing. Hence, there is a need to make consumers aware of the risks and ask them to proceed with caution.” he added.

Regulations on crypto adverts are becoming a trend recently. India has now joined other nations like Spain, Thailand, and the UK in setting up guidelines for crypto adverts.

India Finally Legalizes Cryptocurrencies

In the past, Indian regulators have proposed several bills banning the use of cryptocurrencies in the country. However, in recent times, regulators across the country have been taking significant steps to set up a regulatory framework to guide the emerging asset class.

For instance, earlier this month, India showed signs that crypto has been legalized in the country with the imposition of a 30% tax on income from crypto transactions.

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