BitMEX hit by UK’s ad regulator for ‘misleading’ bitcoin graph in a newspaper

Cryptocurrency derivatives exchange BitMEX has been hit by the U.K. Advertising Standards Authority, the country’s independent ad regulator, for providing a “misleading” bitcoin price graph on the front page of a national newspaper.

The authority announced Wednesday that BitMEX advertised in The Times newspaper in January of this year, showing a graph of bitcoin price between Jan. 2009 and Jan. 2019, but did not provide clear explanatory information and breached an ad code.

The authority received four complaints, who believed that the ad "exaggerated returns" and "failed to illustrate risks", and challenged whether it was "misleading." BitMEX, from its side, argued that the purpose of the graph was not intended to advertise either bitcoin or any of its products.

However, the authority ruled that the ad was "a clear promotional statement of Bitcoin's merits and did very little to warn consumers of any risks." It added: 

“For those reasons we considered that the ad had misleadingly exaggerated the return on investment, failed to illustrate the risk of the investment and therefore concluded it was in breach of the Code [CAP Code, the rule book for non-broadcast advertisements].”

BitMEX has, therefore, been ordered to ensure its ads are readily understood by the target audience and that risks of investments are “sufficiently clearly signposted.”

Back in October, Crypto Bank Global also faced a similar ruling by the authority.