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Crypto companies to put “highly risky” disclaimers on advertisements in India.

Crypto companies will have to put a disclaimer while promoting the "highly risky" and unregulated cryptocurrencies from April
Crypto companies will have to put a disclaimer while promoting the “highly risky” and unregulated cryptocurrencies from April 1 in India.

According to local news reports, all virtual digital assets (VDAs) will have to put the disclaimer in a “prominent and unmissable” way in campaigns for products and services, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) said. The announcement of the guidelines, done after consultations with industry stakeholders, government, and financial regulators as well, comes as the advertising for controversial products and services is on the upswing.

Cryptocurrencies are still unregulated in the country.

The government is yet to pass a law on cryptocurrencies but has proposed a tax on gains made from such transactions, which the crypto companies have welcomed as a move to legitimize the industry, while the central bank has been firm in calling for a complete ban on such activities saying they are a threat to financial stability.

“Advertising of virtual digital assets and services needs specific guidance, considering that this is a new and as yet an emerging way of investing. Hence, there is a need to make consumers aware of the risks and ask them to proceed with caution,” ASCI chairman Subhash Kamath said.

The guidelines state crypto advertisers need to carry a disclaimer.

According to the guideline, crypto companies need to carry a disclaimer stating, “crypto products and NFTs are unregulated and can be highly risky. There may be no regulatory recourse for any loss from such transactions” – in a prominent way. A fifth of the advertising space in print or static ads should be devoted to the disclaimer, while in a video, it should be placed at the end against a plain background with a voiceover reading out the text at normal speed, the ASCI said. The disclaimer must remain on screen for at least 5 seconds in video ads, while for long format ads of over two minutes, it should be placed both at the starting and end of the ad.