The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld its charges against Bitmex, a crypto derivatives platform. The watchdog filed these charges against the firm after finding that one of its ads was misleading. Reportedly, the agency received four complaints on the ad before filing the charges. Two of these complains noted that the firm had failed to spread the risk of investing in crypto.
According to a report, Bitmex published this ad on January 3, 2019. It showcased BTC’s price movement graph over a decade.
Commenting on the graph in the ad, the ASA noted,
The horizontal axis was divided and labeled into six-month units showing dates between January 2009 and January 2019.
Per the watchdog, the graph’s vertical axis represented the price of BTC in USD. Here, the agency purports the graph had price increments from $0.0001 to $100,000.
Referring to the ad, ASA further cited that,
It included a footer on the front page of a national newspaper that read ‘Thanks Satoshi, we owe you one. Happy 10th Birthday, Bitcoin
A Misleading Ad or an Education Attempt?
The watchdog claimed that the ad was a clear promotional statement for BTC. However, the ad only touted the coin’s merits and failed to warn the general public of any risks. ASA believed that failing to educate on the risks associated with investing in crypto was misleading.
ASA concluded that the individuals viewing the ad would,
likely to be misled about bitcoin’s value and stability in recent years and therefore about what any investments they might previously have made would have yielded.
In its defense, Bitmex noted that the ad only sought to educate the public. Explaining this, the firm added that promoting BTC would not benefit it as it does not buy or sell crypto coins.
Per a previous report, the US CFTC is probing Bitmex for allegedly providing its services in the country. The platform does not have the CFTC’s approval to operate in the US. This means that it would have violated federal laws if it offered US residents its services. According to an anonymous source, the agency had probed Bitmex for more than a month as of July 19.
Bitmex’s conflicts with regulators saw the platform experienced its worst month since its launch in July. According to a report, the outflow of funds on the platform exceeded the inflow. For the first time since going live, the outflow of funds on the platform went up to $524 million.
Do you think Bitmex published the Bitcoin ad intending to educate the public? Let us know in the comments below.
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