Belgian Crypto Ads Must Warn of Risks Under New Rules

The Financial Services and Markets Authority will have to be notified of major ad campaigns, as a survey reveals crypto investors are often trying to get rich quick.

AccessTimeIconMar 20, 2023 at 1:01 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 20, 2023 at 10:05 p.m. UTC

Crypto ads in Belgium must be accurate and warn investors of the risks under new laws announced by the country’s financial regulator Monday.

Powers published in Belgium’s Official Gazette on Friday mean any mass-media campaign to promote a digital currency would have to be submitted to the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) 10 days in advance, allowing the regulator to intervene if needed.

“Virtual currencies are all the rage at the moment, but they involve considerable risk,” the FSMA said in a statement. “They are often subject to wild price fluctuations and are vulnerable to fraud and IT-related risks.”

The chance to make money quickly is cited as the leading reason why people trade in virtual currencies, and investors have been undeterred by the crypto winter or the collapse of crypto exchange FTX, according to an FSMA study.

The new rules, which will take effect on May 17, require ads to state that “the only guarantee in crypto is risk.” Belgium joins European countries such as Spain and the U.K. in imposing restrictions on publicity campaigns, which often mirror those already in place for traditional finance.


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

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