eToro, Coinbase, Kraken take down crypto ads amid UK watchdog crackdown

Rick Steves

““Consumers need to know about the risks of investing in cryptoassets and companies should make sure that their ads aren’t misleading or socially irresponsible”.

Bitcoin in a few hands

has raised the alarm over crypto banning ads by Coinbase, Kraken and eToro in a series of scathing judgements.

The UK’s Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has banned adverts by Coinbase, eToro, Kraken, and Luno, having labeled those ads a “red-alert priority issue”.

Failure to communicate risks of investing in crypto

The UK’s advertising watchdog is now taking proactive monitoring of crypto asset ads this year and these rulings against some of the leaders in the cryptocurrency space could help shape guidance for years to come.

Miles Lockwood, Director of Complaints and Investigations at ASA, said: “crypto assets are a red-alert priority issue for us,” and confirmed that “rulings published today and over the next few weeks will shape follow-up enforcement work in the new year to bring all cryptoassets ads into line with our expectations and will form the basis of updated guidance.”

For years, crypto related firms have been able to make quite “aggressive” publicity for their own trading platforms, encouraging investors to take risks in a widely unregulated space.

The ASA has banned these ads for their failure to communicate the risks of investing in crypto assets to customers.

“£5 in #Bitcoin in 2010 would be worth over £100,000 in January 2021.”

One of the ads reprimanded was Facebook’s paid advertisement seen on 27 July 2021: “£5 in #Bitcoin in 2010 would be worth over £100,000 in January 2021.”

Unless the ad is updated to clarify that the price of crypto is variable, the advert will not be allowed to appear again in the United Kingdom.

“Consumers need to know about the risks of investing in cryptoassets and companies should make sure that their ads aren’t misleading or socially irresponsible by taking advantage of consumers’ lack of awareness around these complex and volatile products. We won’t hesitate to take action against ads that break our rules. We encourage anyone with any concerns about ads they’ve seen to get in touch”, Miles Lockwood added.

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