UK Financial Regulator Warns Crypto Firms of Jail Time for Unauthorized Ads

The rules aren’t set in stone but will mirror those for other high-risk investments, the Financial Conduct Authority said.

AccessTimeIconFeb 6, 2023 at 10:57 a.m. UTC
Updated Feb 6, 2023 at 3:39 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

U.K. crypto companies were urged on Monday to prepare for new restrictions on financial promotions, with the Financial Conduct Authority warning that breaches can lead to a prison term of up to two years.

While the new crypto regime is not yet finalized, the financial regulator said the rules would mirror those for other high-risk investments, with promotions having to be being clear and fair, and customers offered a 24-hour cooling-off period to reconsider hasty purchases.

“This regime will apply to all firms marketing crypto assets to U.K. consumers regardless of whether the firm is based overseas or what technology is used to make the promotion,” the FCA said in a statement. “Acting now will help ensure they can continue to legally promote to U.K. consumers.”

New ad rules for the crypto sector were proposed last year. The Treasury said last week that crypto companies registered for money laundering purposes, and not just fully authorized traditional financial firms, will be allowed to approve new campaigns.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Jack Schickler

Jack Schickler was a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.