Belgium Impose New Crypto Ads Rules

Crypto ads in Belgium must be accurate and warn investors of the risks, under new laws announced by the country’s financial regulator Monday.

According to powers published in Belgium’s Official Gazette on Friday, any mass media campaign promoting digital currency would have to be filed ten days in advance to the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA), allowing the regulator to interfere if necessary.

“Virtual currencies are all the rage at the moment, but they involve considerable risk. They are often subject to wild price fluctuations and are vulnerable to fraud and IT-related risks.”

FSMA said in a statement

According to an FSMA survey, the opportunity to earn money rapidly is the primary reason why individuals trade in virtual currencies, and investors have been unaffected by the crypto winter or the bankruptcy of major exchange FTX.

The new rules, which take effect on May 17, require ads to state that “the only guarantee in crypto is risk.” Belgium joins European countries such as Spain and the U.K. in imposing restrictions on publicity campaigns, which often mirror those already in place for traditional finance.

Former Finance Minister for Belgium Calls For Crypto Ban

As a result of the present financial crisis, Johan Van Overtveldt, a member of the European Parliament and former Minister of Finance of Belgium, has advocated for a “tight ban” on cryptocurrency. Overtveldt recommended in a March 17 tweet that politicians “consider banning cryptocurrencies as a lesson” from the failures of Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank, and Silvergate Bank in the United States, referring to digital assets as “speculative poison.” Members of the European Parliament have been debating the implications of these banks’ failures on markets under their jurisdiction.

“If a government bans drugs, it should also ban cryptos.”

From 2014 to 2018, Overtveldt served as Belgium’s finance minister. In 2019, he joined the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs. In October 2022, the committee approved the Markets in Crypto-Assets, or MICA, framework, expected to go into effect starting in 2024.