British consumers buying cryptoassets will get a 24-hour “cooling-off” period for the first time from October under tougher marketing rules unveiled by the financial regulator on Thursday.
Cryptoassets, such as bitcoin, have little direct regulation globally, but regulators are taking a closer look after the downfall of FTX last year, which left millions of investors nursing losses totalling billions of dollars, some of them in Britain.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said “refer a friend” bonuses for crypto buyers would also be scrapped and that those promoting such assets would have to put in place clear risk warnings and ensure adverts were clear, fair and not misleading.
The new crypto rules, which are similar to those imposed by the FCA last year to tackle advertising for high-risk investment in mainstream finance, come as Britain plans to regulate cryptoassets under a new financial services law this year.
“It is up to people to decide whether they buy crypto. But research shows many regret making a hasty decision,” said Sheldon Mills, executive director at the FCA’s consumers and competition division.