Indian high court seeks ad disclaimers from crypto exchanges

India’s Delhi High Court is looking to put a clear voiceover and a disclaimer covering 80% of the screen on crypto ads on national TV.

Amid the ongoing regulatory uncertainty to cryptocurrencies in India, a high court in the country’s capital is taking action to regulate advertising by local crypto exchanges.

The Delhi High Court has issued notices to local authorities and crypto firms in an effort to enforce guidelines for crypto exchanges advertising on national television, the New Indian Express reported Wednesday.

The court is seeking responses from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, as well as major Indian crypto exchanges CoinDCX and WasirX, and aims to discuss the issue in August.

According to the report, lawyers Ayush Shukla and Vikash Kumar have urged the court to ask the SEBI to issue ad guidelines requiring crypto audio-visual ads to include a disclaimer covering 80% of the screen, accompanied with a voiceover reading lasting at least five seconds.

The petitioners reportedly said that numerous crypto ads on national TV do not include a voiceover, while the disclaimer text is displayed briefly and in small letters, usually containing a line like “cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency, not a legal tender and subject to market risks.”

Related: Crypto exchanges in India still struggling to secure banking partners

The court’s plea reportedly stated that crypto assets are inherently riskier than traditional equity investment products, mutual funds and other investment instruments, thus requiring more measures to ensure investor protection. “An ordinary retail investor who views the audio-visual advertisement on television and online websites like Youtube may suffer immense losses as a result,” the court noted.

The news comes as India still struggles to come up with clear regulations for the crypto industry in the country as anonymous alleged government sources continue stoking fears of an upcoming crypto ban. Despite the ongoing regulatory uncertainty, India’s nationwide investments in crypto have reportedly surged 600% over the past year.

Publication date: 
07/15/2021 - 09:06
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