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Belgium introduces new crypto ad rules

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Belgium’s fiscal watchdog has updated the country’s crypto rules which mandate that crypto advertisers warn users of the risks associated with investing in crypto.

The Financial Services and Market Authority (FSMA) will require notification on all primary commercial crypto campaigns as a survey incriminates crypto investors for engaging in get-rich-quick schemes.  

The new regulations on crypto advertisement in Belgium require participants to adhere to various aspects, from fundamental rules to compulsory disclosures. According to the Belgian Financial Services and Market Authority (FSMA) announcement, the rules will take effect on May 17, 2023.

The new rules apply to everyone engaging in either professional or occasional commercializing cryptocurrencies in Belgium. The new rules focus heavily on influencers who have been dodging some scrutiny.

The rules comprise content rubrics to binding disclosures. The content regulations require commercials to be accurate and non-misleading.

Specifically, an ad broadcast must be undoubtedly recognizable in a way that is coherent with the associated risks and without diluting, concealing, or obscuring the risks.  

The commercial shall not accentuate the probable profits of a specific crypto without outlining a reasonable and articulate warning of the risks, precincts, and circumstances surrounding the cryptocurrency in question. 

Additionally, the ad must not focus on aspects or make irrelevant comparisons that do not contribute to understanding any risks associated with the coin in contention.

The rules require the commercial to refrain from speculative value or profit in the future, but all information provided must be comprehensible without technical jargon.

Compulsory phrases

The regulations require all advertisers to add the declaration:

“Virtual currencies, real risks. The only guarantee in crypto is risk.”

The statement to follow will be the risks associated with the advertisement and the proclamation of the permissible individual appearing in the ad.

The FSMA regulations will require entities to submit all “mass campaigns,” especially those targeting more than 25,000 consumers, ten days before their publication date to give time to the regulator to validate. 

Some distribution channels that amount to more than 25,000 consumers include banners on public highways, websites, and social media sites with more than 25,000 followers.

The new regulations show the trajectory that Belgium is taking in crypto. It comes as other European countries, such as the United Kingdom and France, constrain crypto campaigns. However, most restrictions reflect those in place governing traditional finance.

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