UK cracking down on ‘misleading’ crypto advertising

The United Kingdom is cracking down on “misleading” cryptocurrency advertising as more citizens get involved in the digital assets.

Finance Minister Rishi Sunak announced his plan on Tuesday to amend financial promotion legislation to include cryptocurrency.

The finance minister said even though 2.3 million people in the U.K. own cryptocurrency, more than 3 percent of the population, understanding of the digital currency is declining.

Bringing ads for cryptocurrency under the Financial Conduct Authority will put it under similar standards for other financial promotions, such as stock ads.  

This will balance the desire to encourage innovation with the need to ensure that cryptoasset advertisements are fair, clear, and not misleading,” the U.K. Treasury said in a press release on Tuesday

The Treasury wrote the decision was based on the need to allow people to be more informed on their investments. 

“Cryptoassets can provide exciting new opportunities, offering people new ways to transact and invest — but it’s important that consumers are not being sold products with misleading claims,” Sunak said in the release. 

The Treasury noted that the Financial Conduct Authority released research last year “highlighted the potential for misleading advertising of crypto products to cause consumer harm.”

“The Government’s decision to bring these types of advertisements into the scope of regulation will mitigate the risks of consumer harm, ensuring people have the appropriate information to make informed investment decisions,” the Treasury said.