The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has warned seven cryptocurrency companies about misleading advertisements on social media and news websites. The watchdog particularly issued warnings to eToro, Coinbase, EXMO, Luno and others.
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In each cases the ASA claims the companies failed to publish responsible advertisements because they "took advantage of consumers’ inexperience or credulity." The above mentioned companies also failed to illustrate the risk of investments in cryptocurrencies, the ASA said.
For example, one of Coinbase's advertisements on Facebook claimed that "£5 in #Bitcoin in 2010 would be worth over £100,000 in January 2021. Don’t miss out on the next decade – get started on Coinbase today." The ASA says these statements are misleading because they implied "there would be a similar guaranteed increase in bitcoin value over the next decade." Coinbase also did not make clear that "past performance was not necessarily a guide for the future," the UK regulator noted.
In July this year, the ASA announced plans to put more pressure on regulating cryptocurrency-related advertisements. According to Miles Lockwood, Director of Complaints and Investigations at ASA, the UK watchdog wants to crack down "hard and fast." Lockwood also says the regulator sees cryptocurrencies as a "red alert" priority.
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