New Crypto Ad Campaigns Must Contain Warning Risks – Belgium’s Financial Watchdog

The Belgian financial regulator has announced that crypto ads in Belgium must be factual by warning investors of the risks associated with crypto investments under its new rules. Otherwise, the regulator would charge such firms with false advertisements.

The new rules come after a recent survey revealed that most crypto investors in the country regard their investments as a get-rich-quick scheme.

Belgium’s FSMA Implements New Ads Rules

According to Belgium’s Official Gazette, any mass media campaign to promote digital assets must be submitted to the Financial Services and Market Authority (FSMA) ten days in advance. Thus, the agency can make necessary adjustments or prohibit such ads from running.

The FSMA acknowledged that crypto is the rave of the moment, but they are high-risk investments. In addition, the regulator noted that digital assets are prone to frequent price fluctuation and are vulnerable to fraud and other information technology-based risks.

Meanwhile, FSMA cited the chance of getting rich quickly as the main reason for the increased attraction to investing in cryptocurrency. Additionally, the agency admitted that it is surprised that investors are undeterred by the crypto market correction and the collapse of major crypto exchanges like FTX.

Meanwhile, the new rules, which take effect on May 17, mandated crypto ads to reveal the risks associated with investing in the asset. With the latest move, Belgium joins European countries like the UK and Spain in imposing restrictions on advertisement campaigns, a replica of the one already used in the traditional finance sector.

EU Sets MiCA Debate To April 

The European Union (EU) has set April 18 as the deciding date for the final vote on its Market in Crypto Assets (MiCA) bill. Per reports, the European Parliament will deliberate on implementing the comprehensive crypto regulations across the EU bloc next month.

Since last year, MiCA has been the subject of discussion among lawmakers in the EU and key industry players in the crypto ecosystem. The proposed regulations will herald the future of the fledgling digital asset market in the years to come.

However, the MiCA bill has seen multiple delays due to legal technicalities in interpreting the text. The European Parliament agrees that the text must be translated into the bloc’s 24 official languages.

According to sources familiar with the event, if everything goes as planned, the final vote for MiCA will take place on April 19. Besides the MiCA debate, EU decision-makers are expected to discuss the proposed “Transfer of Funds Regulation,” which experts see as controversial.

The new bill, as reported, will require crypto exchanges to verify the customer’s identity. In October 2022, the bloc’s Parliament Economic and Monetary members reportedly voted 28-1 in favor of the MiCA regulations, with national diplomats also endorsing the initiative.

The MiCA regulation allows crypto firms operating licenses to do business across the bloc subject to adhering to consumer protection and governance requirements. Once approved, MiCA will be published alongside the EU official journal but will become law two years later.