In 2021, there were about 40,000 crypto advertisements posted throughout London. TFL and a number of lawmakers are pressing the mayor of the city to regulate such advertisements. Concerns about trader manipulation and potential scams are mounting.
40,000 crypto advertisements posted throughout London
It’s nearly difficult to walk around London these days without seeing a cryptocurrency advertisement. Last year, 39,560 crypto advertising from at least 13 different organizations were displayed in London’s public transportation terminals. According to statistics, this is the most crypto advertisement ever seen in any city on the planet.
Although it may appear to be a marketing milestone for bitcoin companies, there are growing concerns about financial loss and manipulation caused by these advertisements.
Cryptocurrency marketing is unregulated in the United Kingdom, which means that virtually any company can promote its tokens in one of the world’s busiest cities.
Around London’s Tube stations, bus stops, and even within its trains, there are various advertisements for unregulated meme currencies and unproven NFT projects. The TLF (Transport for London) has repeatedly urged the Mayor of London to prohibit the promotion of unregulated financial products.
Several politicians, including Siân Berry of the Green Party of England, have expressed their opposition to such advertisements. TLF, according to the legislator, should have an approval procedure in place to regulate these adverts; otherwise, Londoners may become victims of expanding cryptocurrency scams or develop a trading addiction.
Earlier this year, the city’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, promised a complete ban on gambling marketing. That promise, however, has yet to be honored nearly a year later. Conservative politicians are now urging the Mayor to follow through on his vow and extend the ban to cryptocurrency advertisements as well.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) prohibited seven companies from running crypto advertisements in the UK last month, including huge names like Coinbase, eToro, and Papa Johns Pizza. Because of the deceptive nature of their advertisements, the prohibition was solely applied to these brands.
The ASA had also prohibited a specific Bitcoin ad from a famous crypto exchange in London, which appeared to be deceiving people into buying BTC. None of these prohibitions, however, were applied to the whole crypto sector.
Furthermore, the ASA did not establish a unique regulatory framework for approving crypto advertisements. As a result, these advertisements are nearly spreading at the speed of light, especially in densely populated areas such as London.
Cryptocurrency advertisements were not very common in the UK a few years ago. eToro was the only company advertising cryptocurrency in London in 2019. For its crypto advertisements, the corporation only had 5 digital displays and 40 large posters. Even in 2020, additional enterprises like Coinfloor and Luno joined public marketing, resulting in roughly 1600 crypto advertisements in London.
In 2021, the entire market for bitcoin advertising in London surged, as cryptocurrency became more popular than ever before. There were roughly 15,000 advertising in London in the first two months of 2021, and by the end of the year, the number had more than doubled.
The city has now established itself as a significant competitor for crypto platforms. Although a complete prohibition on advertisements would be detrimental to the crypto ecosystem as a whole, a controlled approach is critical in protecting traders from potential scams and frauds, which are an unfortunate aspect of the market.
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