The intense marketing and advertising campaign for various crypto assets during the T20 World Cup match on Sunday night highlighted the regulatory vacuum for cryptocurrency.

During the clash between India and Pakistan on Sunday, viewers were bombarded with advertisements by CoinSwitch, BitBns and CoinDCX. CoinDCX – which attracted actor Ayushmann Khurrana – and CoinSwitch Kuber played a high-profile appearance with famous Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh as brand ambassador for their advertising campaign on TV and digital platform. In almost all of the ads for crypto assets with questionable value, the disclaimers were too small and were read too quickly for viewers to understand.

Chandrima Mitra, Partner, DSK Legal, said that since crypto assets are currently unregulated and the Advertising Standards Board of India (ASCI) has not set any specific guidelines for advertising crypto assets, these platforms are vulnerable to legal issues and consumer complaints. “While we await guidance and regulations, we are currently advising our customers to ensure that ads promoting crypto platforms contain a specific and clear disclaimer stating that crypto assets are unregulated digital assets, not legal tender, subject to market risk, etc.,” Mitra said. .

area of ​​interest

Experts feel that an ASCI intervention is needed. According to Lloyd Mathias, business strategist and angel investor, ASCI should keep a close eye on it as the cryptocurrency space is rapidly developing.

“It must take. moto Knowledge of coming up with guidelines for crypto-related advertising for the benefit of consumers.” ASCI seems to be thinking about it. “We understand that cryptocurrency and its advertising are an area of ​​growing concern; “We are already consulting with various stakeholders to protect the interests of consumers,” said Manisha Kapoor, ASCI General Secretary.

The high decibel drive and market action have raised a renewed cry for a regulatory framework. Former Finance Minister SC Garg, who led a ministerial committee that recommended a ban on all private cryptocurrencies except for any state-issued virtual currency, said: business line That the government should consider a comprehensive framework for cryptocurrency and treat it as a separate asset class (including as a currency).

The RBI must intervene

However, he felt that the widely expected crypto bill was unlikely to be introduced in the upcoming winter session. The Reserve Bank of India, which is looking to offer a central bank digital currency (CBDC) as legal tender in digital form, may submit a pilot project by December this year.

According to former RBI Governor D Subbarao, the central bank cannot be shy about regulating cryptocurrencies. “Central banks around the world are concerned about the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies. There is also the issue of financial stability and if banks are exposed to cryptocurrencies, they will face unacceptable levels of risk.

In 2018, RBI instructed banks to stop providing services to cryptocurrency exchanges. This has led to uncertainty about the status of virtual currencies in India. However, the Supreme Court, in March 2020, overturned the RBI’s instruction.

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