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FCA issues 146 alerts in first 24 hours of new crypto marketing regime


The FCA issued 146 alerts about cryptoassets promotions on the first day of a new regime that changed legislation to bring the promotion of cryptoassets under its remit. The FCA is now expecting all types of businesses to consider the alerts they have issued and to play their part in protecting UK consumers from illegal promotions of cryptoassets.

As of the 8th October 2023, firms wishing to promote cryptoassets in any way in the UK must, by law, be authorised and registered by the FCA, or have their marketing approved by an authorised firm. The same FCA financial Promotions rules are applicable here, and the expectation is that any promotion must be clear, fair and not misleading, labelled with prominent risk warnings and must not inappropriately incentivize people to invest. The FCA is now categorizing Cryptoassets as Restricted Mass-market Investments (RMMIs), meaning the associated restrictions on how they can be marketed to UK consumers now apply.

Following this change, there are 4 routes cryptoasset firms can take to lawfully communicate cryptoasset promotions:

  1. An authorised person communicates the promotion.
  2. An authorised person approves the promotion.
  3. A crypto firm registered under the Money Laundering Regulations (MLR) communicates the promotion.
  4. The promotion otherwise complies with the conditions of an exemption in the Financial Promotion Order.

Authorised firms who currently approve financial promotions and wish to continue to approve financial promotions must now apply to the FCA for permission to continue doing so.

Thistle can help its clients with the above in a manner of ways. For firms who are already registered with the FCA under the MLRs and wish to promote Cryptoassets, Thistle can assist in ensuring that the promotions themselves and the websites they use adhere to the rules and guidance provided by the FCA for RMMIs. We can also assist firms wishing to begin the registration process with the FCA which would allow them to conduct Cryptoasset business. For Authorised firms, we can assist with applications for permission to continue to approve financial promotions for non-authorised firms. We can also continue to provide guidance and assistance in the creation of financial promotions to ensure continued adherence to the rules and guidance given by the FCA for RMMIs.