Facebook ads for cryptocurrency companies must come with a warning about the unregulated nature of virtual currencies, a local TD has said. This comes after the social media giant moved to reverse its longstanding decision which prevented most virtual currency companies form advertising on Facebook. Dublin Mid-West TD Emer Higgins, Fine Gael’s spokesperson on Social Media and Financial Technology, has called on Facebook to ensure all advertisements of virtual currencies on their platform include a disclaimer about the risks of buying and investing in these products.
Deputy Higgins said: “Government absolutely supports the development of new financial technologies, to spur innovation and digitalisation. However, the warnings from the Central Bank are clear regarding the risks of buying or investing in virtual currencies. “Cryptocurrencies are not guaranteed by the Central Bank, you have no guarantees or safeguards like you do with regulated financial services and there is a chance you may lose all your investment. So, I think it is very important that as Facebook begins to advertise virtual currencies on their platform, these ads should plainly state the risks involved.
Deputy Higgins added: “Anecdotally, I am seeing a rise in interest among young people, particularly young men, in buying and investing in virtual currencies, and I would never seek to quell anyone’s interest in investing or financial pursuits. However, it is important that they fully understand the risks involved. “Virtual currencies have no legal tender status in Ireland for payment, and they’re are not guaranteed or regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland, so I think a disclaimer should be included in the advertising of these products to make people better informed when deciding to buy or invest. “I am calling on Facebook to act responsibly on this matter to ensure that the necessary warnings are displayed in all advertisements selling virtual currencies on their platform,” concluded Deputy Higgins.