The Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has published amended regulations related to advertisements associated with cryptocurrencies after it came to light that some crypto ads were showing only the positive aspect of crypto and not properly disclosing the risks associated with it.
The newly amended rules include disclaimers which must be included in crypto advertisements. The Thailand SEC said that the new rules must clearly show investment risks in crypto advertisements, and also provide a balanced view of the potential risk and returns.
Incidentally, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), too had come out with guidelines on crypto advertisements earlier this year.
Thailand’s SEC also said that the new advertisement regulations shall apply to all new crypto advertisements in the local Thailand market, and all existing advertisements must also be revised to adhere to the new regulations within 30 days of the publication of the SEC’s notice.
Earlier on August 25, the Siam Commercial Bank, which is Thailand’s largest bank, scrapped its plan of buying a majority stake in Thailand’s largest crypto exchange, Bitkub Online, due to unresolved regulatory issues.
India’s Stance On Crypto Advertisement
Back in February 2022, ASCI presented a series of 12 guidelines for advertisement and promotion of virtual digital assets (VDAs). Under the rules, all advertisements released or published by companies after April 1, 2022 had to oblige by these guidelines.
The term, VDA, was coined during Union Budget 2022, and refers to various digital goods, such as, non-fungible tokens (NFT), assets like crypto currencies, crypto tokens, and similar other objects.
Among one of the guidelines, it was mentioned that all crypto advertisements must disclose and include warnings about the risky nature of the asset class, the same way the mutual fund industry discloses about mutual funds in its advertisements.
At present, every mutual fund advertisement in India carries the disclaimer that ‘mutual fund investments are subject to market risk, read all scheme related documents carefully’.
ASCI also stated in its February 2022 guidelines that the words ‘currency’, ‘securities’, ‘custodian’ and ‘depositories’ should not be used in advertisements of VDA products or services. This is because consumers may associate these terms with regulated products.
Later, in June 2022, ASCI had published a report, which outlined that they had identified over 400 crypto-related advertisements, which ‘disobeyed advertising and promotion guidelines for virtual digital assets’ and also the guidelines for influencer advertising in the first five months of 2022.
Manisha Kapoor, CEO, ASCI, had said in a statement to the press at that time that some influencers talked so confidently about crypto, but without fully understanding it and it “did create an impression that it is safe and it’s a fine and cool thing.”
The ASCI guidelines say that since cryptos are a risky category, celebrities or prominent personalities who appear in VDA advertisements must take special care to ensure that they have done their due diligence about the statements and claims made in the advertisement, so that they do not mislead consumers.