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UK Watchdog to Crack down on Misleading Ads Asking People to Invest in Crypto

The United Kingdom’s advertising watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), said it plans to crack down on misleading cryptocurrency-related ads circulating within the region.

Speaking in an interview today with the local news outlet Evening Standard, a spokesperson for the advertising regulatory body noted that there is a need for the government to intensify efforts in monitoring and enforcement of crypto adverts.

“Crypto has exploded in recent years but there is a real danger that people may be drawn in to invest life savings that they may later lose based on poor understanding [of the investment],” the spokesperson said.

The ASA has stated that it will be publishing regulatory guidelines for crypto-related ads in the coming weeks. The agency is also “considering whether to take further action” over its ongoing investigation of social influencers using their social media accounts to promote cryptocurrencies. The argument is that these influencers often do not reveal the risks associated with the offerings they promote to their audience.

Meanwhile, the agency noted that it is already making significant efforts to curb fraudulent cryptocurrency investment ads. As part of its crackdown on fraudulent online cryptocurrency investment ads, the ASA said it has collaborated with Google and social media giant, Facebook, to spot illicit “online paid-for ads linking to fraudulent crypto investments.

ASA Crackdown on Luno’s Bitcoin Ads

The development comes less than two months after the ASA mandated leading cryptocurrency exchange Luno to stop publicizing Bitcoin ads in the region.

Per the report, the ASA accused the exchange of taking advantage of people’s lack of exposure to Bitcoin to downplay the risks associated with cryptocurrency investments.

The ASA was making reference to Luno’s Bitcoin ads, which were featured in Tube stations and busses in London, with the logo of Bitcoin close to a caption which reads “If you are seeing Bitcoin on the underground, it is time to buy.”

Commenting on the ads, the ASA stated at the time that Luno had portrayed Bitcoin investments via the exchange as being easily accessible and straightforward.

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