U.K. Advertising Standards Authority(ASA) has received several complaints against the cryptocurrency trading platform BitMEX. The reason behind these complaints is the ad that was seen on 3rd January 2019, which featured a graph that was spread across two pages.
The graph was divided, and the horizontal axis had 6 months units that showed dates between January 2009 to January 2019. The vertical axis, on the other hand, was separated by decimal points and was labeled as “Bitcoin Price in US Dollars” and the value went from $0.0001 to $100,000. The graph showed a sudden increase in the value of Bitcoin after July 2010.
According to this graph, the highest value recorded was more than $10,000, and that happened between July 2017 and January 2018. The ASA received complaints stating that the return on the investment was exaggerated and challenged it to be misleading. The other complaints were about peoples belief that the ad couldn’t depict the risks involved in the investment.
ASA believed that this misleading information through the graph showed that there had been a sudden and then steady rise in the Bitcoin prices. However, the reality is that Bitcoin showed growth of $1000 in 2017. It went all the way up to $14,000 in November 2017 and then came down to $4000 on January 2019.
These were the reasons why the ASA considered these complaints and has taken action against that under the CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 and 3.3(Misleading advertising), 3.11(Exaggeration) and 14.1(Financial products).
They have also asked BitMEX never to put an ad like that out again, and the data in the advertisement should be in such form that it is understandable and readable by the audience.