UK Regulator to Launch £11M Campaign Warning of Crypto Risks

15 July 2021

The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is launching an £11 million (US$15 million) marketing campaign to warn young people of the risks in investing in crypto.

  • The move was announced by CEO Nikhil Rathi in a speech Thursday as part of a webinar on the FCA's role as a proactive regulator.
  • Citing recent research that found almost 2.5 million Britons hold cryptoassets, Rathi highlighted the FCA's concern that crypto holders are more likely to be younger and behave "less rationally and more emotionally, egged on by anonymous and unaccountable social media influencers."
  • "This is a category of consumer that we are not used to engaging with, 18 to 30-year olds more likely to be drawn in by social media, " Rathi said.
  • He compared crypto to what happened to GameStop shares in January, when a trading frenzy driven by Reddit forum WallStreetBets pushed the company's stock as high as $483 from $18 at the end of 2020.
  • The FCA campaign follows hard on the heels of its counterpart in the advertising industry planning to tighten its monitoring of the crypto market.
  • The Advertising Standards Authority said July 9 it would be proactively looking for potentially misleading or irresponsible ads for crypto products, as opposed to its previous approach, which had been more reactive.
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