Five key takeaways from the official Indian guideline for cryptocurrency announcements

The Advertisements Council of India (ASCI) public on Wednesday a set of 12 guidelines for virtual digital asset (VDA) promotions and advertisements, including cryptocurrencies.

The major advertising watchdog has developed the new guideline after extensive consultation with stakeholders in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, as well as the government, the ASCI said. The advertising guidelines also mark the first legal framework related to the digital asset market in the country, at a time when the government has yet to finalize the crypto-focused bill.

The new cryptocurrency advertising framework will come into force from April 1, the same date that the infamous 30% tax on cryptocurrencies will come into effect. Let’s look at five key points from the guidelines that will determine the future of crypto companies’ ad content.

  1. All crypto announcements after April 22 must add a disclaimer to explain that crypto and NFT products are unregulated and “can be very risky.” The disclaimer must be displayed in all dominant languages.
  2. It is not allowed to compare a crypto asset with regulated assets in the advertisement.
  3. Cryptocurrency advertisements should refrain from using “currency”, “securities”, “custodian” and “depositories” when referring to their products or services.
  4. Cryptocurrency advertisements should not present their products as a solution to money problems in any way, shape or form.
  5. Cryptocurrency advertisements that speak of profitability must contain clear, precise, sufficient and updated information.

The advertising council has also specified the print size of disclaimer notices and how it should be spread across different media. Ramalingam Subramanian, director of brand, marketing and communication at CoinDCX, noted that the “new guidelines add more clarity” for crypto advertisers. He said:

“The release of the ASCI Custom Advertising Guidelines is a very promising and welcome move for the cryptocurrency industry in India. CoinDCX is a member of the ASCI and has been actively complying with the ASCI Standard Advertising Guidelines.”

Siddharth Sogani, CEO of blockchain analytics firm Crebaco, told Cointelegraph:

“This is a great move by the regulators involved and it’s always good to have disclaimers that give a better view of the market rather than being propagated as a ‘get rich quick scheme’.”

Sogani added that the new cryptocurrency advertising guidelines also point to better cryptocurrency frameworks in the future and show that the government is taking into account the views of stakeholders to better regulate the sector.

Aggressive cryptocurrency announcements were the talk of the Indian media for most of the last two quarters of 2021, due to the bull market as Indian crypto exchanges saw a huge influx of new users. This prompted the Delhi High Court to notify the government to issue proper guidelines and liability notices in July last year.

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