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India gov’t launches awareness campaign on digital currencies and online gaming

India’s Investor Protection and Education Fund (IPEF), an agency under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, has launched a campaign targeting the misuse of digital assets.

According to details from the announcement, IPEF has expressed concern over the rising incidents of digital asset fraud in the country and the ignorance of residents investing in the asset class. The outreach campaign will also be expanded to include the online gaming industry and will be done on a national scale.

“The campaign will highlight that cryptocurrencies are not legal in India and there are also deep risks involved in such assets. Any investments where the people are being promised lucrative and assured returns, there is an element of high risk,” an IPEF spokesperson said.

IPEF has been making regular outreach programs, but this is the first time it covers the virtual currency ecosystem. The agency notes that it will focus on multiple areas of virtual asset fraud, including Ponziromance, and pig-butchering scams.

IPEF’s awareness campaigns usually herald the introduction of new legislation, and insiders are already suggesting that the virtual currency and online gaming industries could receive new legal frameworks. The Ministry of Finance is already neck-deep in digital asset regulation, with speculation swirling that the Ministry is seeking international input before proceeding.

“Crypto assets are by definition borderless and require international collaboration to prevent regulatory arbitrage. Therefore, any legislation on the subject can be effective only with significant international collaboration on evaluation of the risks and benefits and evolution of common taxonomy and standards,” Minister of State Pankaj Chaudhary said.

Rise of regulatory advisories against digital asset bad actors

Regulators worldwide are using public warnings in their quest to stifle the activities of virtual currency bad actors. The Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission appears to have mastered the art of issuing public advisories against erring firms, famously dishing out nearly 100 in 2022.

U.S. regulators like the Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Securities and Exchange Commission have been issuing a barrage of warnings against the activities of digital asset fraudsters and firms offering unregistered securities.

It is difficult to determine the efficacy of this strategy, but its proponents have argued that it played a key role in reducing fraud cases in 2022, urging investors to carry out their due diligence before investing in any platform.

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