Implicitly new rules for crypto advertising in Belgium

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The government of Belgium has given the financial regulatory agency the responsibility of controlling cryptocurrency advertising. Advertisers must now explicitly inform investors of the dangers involved with digital assets under new regulations that will go into effect in May.

Belgium Prepared to Guard Customers From False Crypto Advertisements
The Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) of Belgium has been given authority to rigorously control advertising with a cryptographic subject. The regulator stated in a statement on Monday that the new regulations, which will go into effect in less than two months, are designed to make sure that the dangers associated with virtual currencies are “sufficiently visible” in such marketing.

On March 17, a corresponding regulation from the FSMA, which will oversee compliance, was published in the Belgian Official Gazette. It will take effect on May 17, 2023. It stipulates that advertisements for cryptocurrencies must be truthful and not deceptive while highlighting the hazards.

Also, large media campaigns—those that distribute advertisements to at least 25,000 consumers—must notify the FSMA in advance. The regulatory body would have the opportunity to intervene prior to the launch of such campaigns thanks to the prior notification, should it see fit.

“Advertisements may not highlight prospective benefits without accurately describing the risks, restrictions, or requirements. Also, advertisements must be worded in comprehensible English and cannot make any claims regarding future value or return, the regulator added.

The requirement that bitcoin advertisements include a “short and punchy warning” that reads: “Virtual currencies, real risks. Risk is the only assurance in cryptocurrencies. Additionally, they must include, mention, or link to a more comprehensive warning that describes the potential dangers in greater depth.

Also, the FSMA wants to do more to promote financial literacy concerning digital assets. It is now creating a series of videos aimed at young people about virtual currency. They are a part of a set of educational materials that also contains a quiz for students and a piece of information for teachers.

The financial authority’s regulatory action follows last week’s plea on countries to outlaw cryptocurrencies from two crypto-friendly banks by Johan Van Overtveldt, a former finance minister of Belgium. That also comes after an article was published in which the head of the Netherlands financial regulator committed to regulate cryptocurrency businesses strictly in accordance with the EU’s Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) law.

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