UK’s ASA has issued warnings against more than 50 crypto firms, including Coinbase


The Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) intensified its negative stance on crypto-related companies. It warned such entities not to encourage individuals to purchase digital assets with credit cards or exchange their pensions for coins such as bitcoin.

The last warning from the ASA

The UK authorities and financial regulators are known for their crackdown on the cryptocurrency sector. For example, the Governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, argued that digital assets “have no intrinsic value”, and that individuals investing in them should be prepared to lose all their money.

In addition, Nikhil Rathi – CEO of FCA – claimed that cryptocurrencies are used in criminal activities. He also suggested that the UK government should not compensate individuals investing in the asset class in the event of a loss.

The Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) is yet another watchdog with a hostile view on the matter. Today (March 22), it issued an enforcement statement to more than 50 companies promoting digital assets. Aside from setting standards for their operations, the ASA warned those organizations not to encourage individuals to purchase cryptocurrencies through credit cards.

“It’s definitely a step up. This is an industry that we recognize needs some work, as the government has acknowledged,” said Nick Hudson – Operations Manager at the ASA.

Earlier this year, the finance minister – Rishi Sunak – said the government must protect local people from deceptive crypto advertisements that could lead to huge losses. However, the ASA does not believe such legislation will come into effect before 2023 and warned that unethical companies will continue to promote their products until then.

“Our role is very important right now. Advertisers know the FCA regulation is coming. This is a time when they might want to make hay,” Hudson said.

It is worth noting that the regulator not only warned unknown and dubious cryptocurrency-related companies, but also some of the giants in the field, including Coinbase and eToro.

Luno and Floki Inu banned in UK

The ASA has already banned some deceptive cryptocurrency advertisements on UK soil. In May last year, countless slogans appeared on London’s tube and bus stations saying, “When you see Bitcoin on the tube, it’s time to buy.” The regulator has determined that crypto app Luno is behind the marketing initiative and describes the pursuit as highly unethical.

The ASA claimed those ads could lure inexperienced investors into the digital asset ecosystem without realizing the risks in the field. As such, it banned Luno’s endorsements.

Several months later, London’s transport infrastructure became marketing ground for another crypto product – this time it was the memecoin Floki Inu. City authorities argued that such tokens should not be advertised without a thorough investigation beforehand.

Transport for London (TfL) added that its stations are not a place where questionable products like Floki Inu should be promoted. Shortly after, the organization removed the memecoin ads.

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