No celebrity endorsement for cryptocurrencies: SEBI 

SEBI asks crypto exchanges for no celebrity endorsement, suggesting that it might disclose a possible violation of laws in such advertisements

   
Cryptocurrencies

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has advised not to get cryptocurrencies endorsed by ‘prominent public figures, including celebrities and sportsmen’ and suggested that crypto advertisement disclosure should also speak about the possible violation of laws, as reported by BusinessLine.

According to sources, SEBI expressed its views to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance last month when members questioned officials on various aspects of cryptocurrency. Following that, the regulator provided a detailed written response. Later, the Finance Ministry requested that the regulator provide its thoughts on the advertisement, and the Advertising Standards Council of India forwarded guidelines (ASCI).

This is not the first time that investment products have been asked to refrain from being endorsed by celebrities or prominent public figures. “The same is already true for stock and mutual funds broking firms,” Sathvik Vishwanath, Co-Founder & CEO of Unocoin, an Indian crypto exchange told SME Futures.

“Because we are dealing with money and returns directly it is important that a common man does not get influenced by celebrities,” he adds.

According to the sources, SEBI responded, “Given that crypto product are unregulated, prominent public figures including celebrities, sportsmen, etc. or their voice shall not be used for endorsement/advertisement of crypto products,”

Additionally, it also stated that any prominent public figure shall be held responsible for making an endorsement which is a possible violation of the Consumer Protection Act or any other law.

The government has been bringing guidelines and regulations for cryptocurrencies quite frequently. Last week, the GST council announced to impose a 28 per cent GST on services such as crypto mining and sales and purchases if the proposal goes through in the next GST meeting.

Not only this, cryptocurrencies or virtual digital assets (VDA) have been tagged with a 30 per cent tax on the capital gains made through the transfers of these assets and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).