Misleading Crypto Ads? ‘Cryptocurrency is not without risks’

Football stadiums, public transport or on social media. Cryptocurrencies are advertised quite well in various places. Radar delved into the crypto issue and concluded that digital investing is indeed not without risks. But warn about this in the crypto ads, it is not necessary in the Netherlands.

Cryptocurrencies are popular, especially among the younger generation. Research from Nibud shows that every fourth young adult has cryptocurrencies. You see ads about digital currencies everywhere, but there are no rules for these ads.

Recently, experts from Subwaypanel their expert and critical opinion on cryptocurrencies. You can read about that here.

Crypto ads misleading and unrealistic

Crypto specialist and BNR-journalist Aäron Loupatty explains that young people make easy money with crypto. “Investing is for adults and crypto is modern and attractive to young people.” According to him, providers are responding to the FOMO (fear of missing out) aspect among young people. Under the guise of ‘you missed your chance before, but get in now’. Gerben Everts, director of the investor association VEB, calls these ads ‘hot air’. He worries about the advertisements, which are not always realistic.

In England, an advertising watchdog intervenes in some advertising campaigns by crypto providers. According to them, the ads are misleading and you can still lose a lot of money. And also in Spain these types of advertising are enforced.

Advertising cryptocurrency on social media with influencers

In the Netherlands, some crypto providers even sponsor football clubs. Like Floki at FC Twente and Iqoniq at FC Groningen. The latter has since gone bankrupt, something Loupatty finds strange: “They are endorsing a crypto company that is ‘shady’ and risky.” Everts agrees.

So-called ‘finfluencers’ also advertise cryptocurrencies on social media. According to Loupatty, they paint the picture that they themselves traded in certain digital currencies. But that is often not the case. Evers is even talking about banning this type of advertising via social media until appropriate regulations are in place.

Awaiting rules when checking ads

Risk warnings are mandatory when advertising investment products. This is not yet mandatory for cryptos. In 2024, there will be new European legislation to regulate the entire crypto market, including advertising. A supervisor must check this.

But that will take another two years, and the Dutch government won’t act against crypto advertising in the meantime. “There’s going to be a lot of accidents between now and two years,” says Evers. Lupattty is also surprised that there are few regulations in the Netherlands.

Cryptocurrency ‘Gambling’ and ‘Pyramid Scheme’

Radar also asked for an answer from our Finance Minister Sigrid Kaag. She says that the Netherlands is waiting for European rules, but is afraid of risks for young people. According to her, the supervisory authority for the financial markets (AFM) should warn about the risks. However, AFM again points to the legislator, i.e. the Kaag Ministry.

Tom van de Lee, from GroenLinks, calls the crypto market a “pyramid scheme” and compares it to “gambling”. SP member Mahir Alkaya does not believe that all cryptocurrencies are gambling. He calls it “risky investment objects”. But according to both of them, the Netherlands should not wait two years for rules on advertising for the digital coins.

Want to see the full Radar broadcast? You can find yesterday’s episode here.

Controversial multi-millionaire in What are they doing it for?: ‘How strange’

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Crypto ads are ‘misleading’: ‘Actual advertising in hot air’

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