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Do’s and Don’ts of Crypto Advertisements in India

A list of do’s and don’ts of crypto advertisements has been released.

Advertisement has been the point of contention in the Indian crypto space for quite a time. 

It all began when crypto exchanges carried out a blitzkrieg of advertisements during the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. Their ads were labelled misleading.

A CoinDCX advertisement during the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

India’s crypto advertisement dilemma has found some clarity.

A list of do’s and don’ts has been released providing the guidelines for crypto advertisement by Indian Cryptocurrency Exchanges and intermediaries, according to 2 sources cited in an Economic Times (ET) report.

Crypto Will Not be Shown as Currency

Both the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Government of India have repeatedly expressed dismay over the currency aspect of crypto products. In the report, by the Inter-ministerial Committee (IMC) on cryptocurrency, it is mentioned that the prerogative of issuing a currency rests in the sovereign (supreme ruler).

That’s why the word ‘currency’ may not be used in advertisements.

Moreover, crypto assets will not be compared with any regulated financial offering or asset and will not be advertised as a solution to a ‘money problem’.

Guidelines for Disclaimer

Advertisements would carry a disclaimer which could read, “Crypto products are currently unregulated and subject to market risk. Please seek independent financial advice before investing.”

The disclaimer in print ads must be prominent and the voiceover on electronic media must have a coherent pace and enunciation.

Return Over Investment Will Not be Displayed

According to a note circulated among crypto platforms, the advertisements will not make any mention of returns over investment for periods of less than 12 months. It has been held that the lucrative returns depicted in advertisements lure new small and novice investors.

Along with this, advertisements will not feature any minor or someone who appears to be a minor talking or interacting with the product being advertised.

These guidelines will be applied to all forms of advertisements including television programmes, interviews, public speaking, presentations in seminars and workshops, or any other medium.

Mass media and advertisements are a product of the advancement in Information Communication Technology (ICT). They offer the advertisers the way to reach scores of potential customers. But they should not deceive the viewer. Crypto is a new industry, so laws governing it and its advertisement will take time to be formulated. Until then, the industry will tread in uncertainty. Similar was the case for the internet boom during the 1990s and early 2000s.

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