UK Advertising Authority Still Supports Complaints Against BitMEX’s Bitcoin Ad

The United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is still in support of the complaints earlier filed against the cryptocurrency derivatives exchange, BitMEX.

In a publication by the ASA today, the watchdog stated that four complaints were earlier filed against BitMEX, for trying to mislead the public with an ad showing an exaggerated return on Bitcoin investments.

Similarly, two separate complaints were also filed against the exchange for failure to illustrate the risk involved with the investment.

In celebration of Bitcoin tenth anniversary, the ASA stated that the promotion made by the firm dated January 3, 2019, on the front page of the Times Newspaper, which depicts a graph illustrating Bitcoin (BTC) price performance against the dollar over the years.

Alongside the graph, the BitMEX’s ad also included texts located at different parts of the newspaper front page, including the top, left, and the footer of the page where the advert was made.

Part of the text includes, “Thanks Satoshi; we owe you one. Happy 10th Birthday Bitcoin,” the ASA described.

According to ASA, instead of using an arithmetic scale to portray Bitcoin’s performance against the dollar, a logarithmic scale was used on the y-axis of the graph.

This prompted the y-axis’ values to increase by a power of ten, and not correspond with values on the x-axis.

“For example, after zero the scale went to 1, then 10, then 1000, up to 100,000, unlike an arithmetic scale which would increase by the same amount each time (100, 200, 300),” the ASA said.

Potential investors viewing the ad are likely to be misled, as the advertisement did not give a clear description of Bitcoin’s value and stability in the past, the regulators concluded.

Responding to the ruling, BitMEX CEO, Arthur Hayes, said that the scale used on the graph was appropriate and was not adopted to mislead the public, as claimed by the ASA.

However, the rationale behind the advertisement was not made to promote the buying and selling of cryptocurrency, but it was used as an informative tool to the public, Arthur added.

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