Crypto billboards, which have popped up across the London subway system, will come under tougher U.K. oversight in the latest in a series of steps taken by the government and regulators to stamp out false advertising in the industry.
The Treasury said on Tuesday that it plans to regulate crypto advertising like other financial products and ensure that promotions are “fair, clear and not misleading.”
The news comes a day after a similar announcement from Spain’s market regulator, which slapped controls on ad campaigns for cryptoassets by saying they must carry a warning to investors that they risk losing all their money.
“Research suggests that understanding of what crypto actually is is declining, suggesting that some users may not fully understand what they are buying,” the U.K. Treasury said in a statement. The tougher rules will be phased in over six months once they’re finalized.
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Crypto has drawn the attention of regulators globally as a result of the volatile price movements of digital assets—from Bitcoin and Ether down to memecoins such as Shiba Inu—as well as the complexity of the products and lack of consumer protection. In the U.K., Britain’s advertising regulator has handed down a stream of rulings against crypto-related advertising, setting a consistent line against some of the key names in the industry. The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority, meanwhile, has issued frequent warnings about the risks in crypto, saying last January that investors “should be prepared to lose all their money.”