Crypto has 3 months to clean up UK ads — or face jail and ‘unlimited’ fines

No matter where companies are based, all crypto marketing in the UK must stick to strict regulations starting October 8

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The UK financial watchdog is calling on crypto firms to fall in line with the regulator’s new rules for ads by October. 

The Financial Conduct Authority’s new rules target how companies communicate information about their crypto-related products on websites, apps, social media and online ads.

Even crypto businesses based elsewhere in the world with ads that reach UK-based individuals will have to comply with the rules, according to a July 4 notice.

Once the regime comes into effect on October 8, there will be four legal paths for crypto firms to market to UK consumers, including regulator authorization and exemptions.

Crypto firms marketing to UK consumers have been asked to figure out which paths they’ll take and how they’ll handle UK customers if they can’t promote to them. 

The FCA has imposed a deadline of Aug. 4 for these businesses to respond with what steps they will take to prepare for the regime.

What if crypto ignores the UK rules?

The FCA has warned it will be tough with companies illegally promoting crypto to UK consumers.

Firms or individual promoters flouting these rules could end up with up to two years in jail, pay “unlimited” fines or both. 

The regulator expects a key way towards compliance is to register under Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Regulations. There is a fee to register and it could take up to three months to get approval.

Any firm hoping to be helped through the process will have to find themselves independent legal advice, rather than turning to the FCA for help.

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UK regulators last year banned a Lodon ad campaign for memecoin Floki Inu

Last year, more than 50 cryptocurrency firms in the UK found themselves recipients of enforcement notices, which instructed them to review their advertising practices. 

They were accused of engaging in misleading advertising targeted at consumers and acting in a socially irresponsible manner.

The UK Advertising Standard Authority ruled the companies could not incite a “fear of missing out” within potential investors regarding digital assets.


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