Amid rising concerns about investors being victimized by crypto-related scams, the U.K. government unveiled plans to combat misleading crypto advertising.
The U.K. Treasury department cited growing concerns about mis-selling of crypto assets, noting that, while ownership of crypto assets has broadened, research has shown that investor understanding of crypto has seemingly declined.
As a result, the government said that regulatory intervention is needed to “ensure that cryptoasset promotions are fair, clear and not misleading.”
To that end, it plans to expand the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) existing rules for financial product advertising to include crypto assets.
While certain digital assets (such as tokenized securities) are already covered by these rules, their scope would be expanded to unregulated currencies such as Bitcoin and Ether.
“This means the promotion of qualifying cryptoassets will be subject to FCA rules in line with the same high standards that other financial promotions such as stocks, shares, and insurance products are held to,” the government said.
The expanded rules are intended to provide the FCA with the power to regulate the crypto market more effectively.
The regulator will consult on the proposed financial promotions rules for cryptoassets, and the government intends to allow for a transition period (likely six months) once the new rules are finalized.
“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,” said the U.K.’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, in a release.