450 Alerts Issued in 3 Months

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The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued 450 warnings to companies unlawfully promoting cryptocurrency assets from October 8, 2023, to December 31, 2023.

The regulatory agency is currently collaborating with technology firms to eliminate and block unauthorized advertisements across various platforms like websites, mobile apps, and social media accounts. This effort led to the removal of 35 apps from App Stores by the end of December 2023.

FCA Battles Illegal Crypto Promotions

In a recent announcement, the FCA disclosed about reviewing 44 crypto firms, both registered for anti-money laundering purposes and unregistered ones with promotions approved by an FCA-authorized individual.

These evaluations covered scrutiny of websites, mobile apps, social media, and advertising practices, revealing widespread non-compliance with regulatory standards.

Violations included the use of generic risk descriptions without tailoring them to specific products like stablecoins or asset-backed coins, as well as exploiting regulated status for promotional purposes.

Additionally, the FCA instructed the withdrawal or amendment of more than 10,008 finance-related advertisements in the country during 2023.

The financial regulator highlighted instances where companies made unsubstantiated claims about the safety, security, and user-friendliness of crypto services while downplaying associated risks.

Following the expiration of the modification by consent on January 8, 2024, the FCA said that it has been assessing compliance with the ‘back end’ regulations.

“We will take action against breaches, using our supervisory tools when we identify persistent breaches and potentially using enforcement action where necessary.”

Crypto Giants Forced Out by FCA’s Ad Rule Compliance

Binance was one of the several crypto companies that was forced to cease its UK operations as a result.

Rebuildingsociety.com(REBS), the platform responsible for approving Binance’s promotions, was prohibited from endorsing crypto ads, leading to hurdles for the exchange in locating another approving entity.

Meanwhile, ByBit, which is registered with the FCA, announced the suspension of services to clients in the UK prior to October 8, the implementation date for the regulations. Similarly, DCG-owned Luno, which was also not registered with the regulator, prevented certain UK clients from engaging in crypto investments.

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