Frontal view of the Central Bank of Ireland on Dublins Docklands.

Ireland central bank warns against ‘misleading’ digital asset ads

The Irish central bank has joined a growing list of global regulators who have issued public warnings against digital currency advertisements. In its warning, the Central Bank of Ireland said that most of these ads are misleading.

The Central Bank of Ireland issued its fresh warning on digital assets this week as part of Europe-wide campaign by the European Supervisory Authority to educate investors on the risks that they face if they choose to invest in the asset class.

Digital currencies are highly risky and speculative and may not be suitable for retail investors, the bank warned. It also drew attention to the risks of “misleading advertisements, particularly on social media, where influencers are being paid to advertise crypto assets.”

Commenting on the warning, the director general of financial conduct at the bank, Derville Rowland stated, “In Ireland and across the EU we are seeing increasing levels of advertising and aggressive promotion of crypto asset investments. While people may be attracted to these investments by the high returns advertised, the reality is that they carry significant risk.”

The Irish central bank joins a growing list of regulators globally that have warned against digital currency ads. Singapore was among the most stringent in its action against these ads, banning their presence in public places, from public transport venues to broadcast media publications, third party websites to roadshows. Virtual asset service providers (VASPs) must also not turn to social media influencers to advertise their products.

Spain has also cracked down on these ads. The country’s financial regulator published a circular earlier this year demanding that VASPs commit to “clear, balanced, fair and non-misleading ads.” It also warned social media influencers against misleading their followers, with those found guilty facing up to $340,000 in penalties.

The Irish central bank reminded investors that if they lose their money investing in digital assets, it can’t step in as the sector isn’t covered by the country’s financial regulations.

Rowland remarked, “Before you buy crypto assets, you need to think about whether you can afford to lose all the money you invest. Do the promised fast or high returns seem too good to be true? People should also be aware that if things go wrong, you do not have the protections you would have if you invested in a regulated product.”

Watch: CoinGeek New York panel, Media Influence: How News Reporting Affects the Digital Asset Market

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