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Plea in Madras High Court to Ban Crypto Ads

A petition has been filed which seeks to ban crypto advertisements on the grounds of security risks for both investors and the country.

The Madras High Court is hearing a petition that seeks to ban cryptocurrency advertisements on all media platforms until some regulatory framework is formulated, according to a Live Law report from Monday.

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed by Advocate Ayya for the same.

He said that due to the unregulated nature of cryptocurrencies, they are prone to be stolen through hacking, loss of passwords, compromise of access credentials, etc.

Moreover, he argued that cryptocurrencies are used for illicit activities such as money laundering, terror financing, and extortion.

“On the 1st page of newspapers itself, several media sources of our country are publishing the advertisements for the unsecured crypto currency trading”, his affidavit states.

The petitioner has sought responses from The Finance Secretary, Cabinet Secretary, and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

He has also cited the various crypto scams that have taken place in the country.

Further, he mentioned the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) press release from the year 2013 that warns the public about the security risks of cryptocurrency.

“It is submitted that The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has recently warned that the emergence of crypto-currencies has become a combination of a bubble, a Ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster, and calls for policy responses (BIS, 2018). The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has also observed that crypto assets are being used for money laundering and terrorist financing”, the affidavit reads.

Summing up his arguments, he calls for a ban on crypto advertisements on the grounds of security risks for both the investors and the country.

The Government has already taken cognisance of the issue of crypto advertisements. It is studying the guidelines of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) and may issue fresh guidelines.

Recently, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) also barred IPL teams from dealing or associating with any crypto company,

Marketing is needed to reach a wider audience, and it is the responsibility of the advertisers to inform the viewer about both the advantages and disadvantages of a product or service.

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