The City watchdog issued nearly 150 alerts on the first day of its new crypto marketing regime as unauthorised crypto firms felt the heat from the new regulations.
Under the rules which came into force yesterday, firms promoting crypto in the UK must be authorised or registered by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), or have their marketing approved by an authorised firm.
Promotions must also be clear and labelled with prominent risk warnings.
Within 24 hours, 146 alerts were issued to firms who were advertising crypto investments without registration or authorisation from the FCA.
Among those hit with warnings was the ironically named Legit Crypto Mining and Wavy Crypto. Superb Coin and earnbitprofit.com also had alerts placed on them.
“We expect businesses including social media platforms, app stores, search engines, domain name registrars and payments firms to consider the alerts we have issued and play their part in protecting UK consumers from illegal promotions,” the FCA said.
The FCA reiterated that crypto investment remain “high-risk” and warned that investors “should be prepared to lose all their money.”
“The FCA has wasted no time in ramping up pressure on non-compliant cryptoasset businesses servicing UK customers,” said Mike Ringer, a financial services partner with law firm CMS.
Alongside the new authorisation requirements, the new rules – which were announced in June – ban refer-a-friend bonuses and will introduce a “cooling-off” period, where first time investors will have to wait a full day before they can complete their transaction.
The FCA has offered some breathing space for some crypto firms on a few of the more cumbersome rules, including the cooling-off period. They will have until the 8th January to implement those changes.