Irish Advertising Authority Receives Growing Complaints on Crypto Ads

2 mins
23 January 2022, 14:30 GMT+0000
Updated by Levy Prata
27 May 2022, 17:56 GMT+0000
In Brief
  • Irish advertising authorities investigate consumer complaints regarding crypto ads.
  • The authorities have flagged the lack of warnings regarding the risk of crypto investments.
  • The governor of the Irish central bank does not believe that crypto poses a threat to Irish financial stability at present.
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Crypto advertisements are now coming under the spotlight in Ireland, following the release of an advertising regulatory framework recently compiled by the U.K. Treasury.

The Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) has a growing concern surrounding crypto ads. It has received four complaints regarding advertisements since 2019. Two Floki Inu adverts posted on the sides of Dublin Buses drew concern. The advertisements’ catchphrase is “Missed Doge? Get Floki.” Similar ads appeared across London recently. “Doge” is a reference to “Dogecoin,” the first meme coin (no intrinsic value), created as a joke in 2013. Shiba Inu and then Floki Inu followed Doge. A spokesperson for the ASAI said the four adverts remain under review. “We are aware that there is increasing concern in other jurisdictions about the advertising for cryptocurrencies, and we are monitoring developments,” they said.

These complaints have drawn Irish authorities’ attention at a time when U.K. regulators have set out guidelines to reduce misleading advertisements. All crypto ads in the U.K. will be subject to rules that apply to shares and insurance.

Irish Central Bank Governor not concerned yet

Digital assets in Ireland are unrecognized by the Central Bank, as they are not products of regulated financial firms. The central bank has warned consumers about investing in cryptocurrencies in recent years. Now, in response to the growing list of complaints, the bank said, “We reiterate those warnings.”

“The central bank denotes the pace at which the crypto ecosystem is growing, and the central bank continues to identify and closely monitor risks associated with crypto assets,” said a spokesperson.

In a blog post recently, Gabriel Makhlouf, Governor of the Central Banks, crypto does not pose a threat to financial stability, both nationally and globally. On the back of increased popularity, however, “their volatility could lead to losses, which could have implications for financial stability.” Makhlouf draws the comparison between the current enthusiasm surrounding BTC and ETH and the Dutch Tulip Bubble, known as “Tulip Mania” in the 1600s.

Risks not properly defined, says E.U.

The concern is spreading across the E.U. that crypto advertising campaigns are not disclosing the significant risks associated with digital assets. The body is busy creating a financial regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, including the Markets in Crypto Assets framework (MiCA), due for ratification later this year. MiCA includes the introduction of a licensing regime for service providers.

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BeInCrypto has reached out to company or individual involved in the story to get an official statement about the recent developments, but it has yet to hear back.