The United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is wary of the growing number of young investors investing in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. To this effect, the regulatory body is planning an £11 million ($15 million) digital marketing campaign to educate young ones regarding the risks associated with such investments.
The upcoming campaign was disclosed in a speech delivered today by CEO Nikhil Rath. The speech focused on the FCA's role as a forward-looking and proactive regulator and highlighted all the key areas in which the agency has established rules to protect consumers.
Following a section that described the growth of fintech investment products, Nikhil Rath spoke about the risks associated with using technology "to promote new investments to consumers." He cited a recent study by the FCA which found that nearly 2.5 million UK residents had invested in cryptocurrencies and other supposed high-risk investments.
However, he suggested the demographics, which primarily include young people, were merely 'having a go' by putting money into these assets and were not fully aware of the risks.
He compared cryptocurrencies to the Gamestop craze earlier this year, arguing that young people see investing as "entertainment – behaving less rationally and more emotionally, egged on by anonymous and unaccountable social media influencers. "
To combat such behaviour, he said the agency has mapped out an £11 million ($15 million) digital marketing budget to target these categories of consumers within the ages of 18-30 and warn them about the risks.
In conclusion, about cryptocurrencies, Nikhil Rakh repeated the now-familiar warning from the FCA, that cryptocurrency investors "should be prepared to lose all their money."
The recent comments from the FCA leader come off the back of a similar effort by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). Earlier this month, the advertising watchdog revealed that it was planning a wider crackdown against misleading crypto ads, especially those that fail to disclose the risks associated with these investment products.