The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is setting its sights on cryptocurrency memes, warning that they may soon fall under the purview of financial promotion regulations. This move is part of the FCA’s initiative to update its rules on online financial product promotions, particularly on social media platforms.
The FCA’s existing guidelines, established in 2015, do not currently cover cryptocurrency. However, the regulatory body has initiated a consultation to determine whether crypto memes should be included under the official UK rules.
The FCA has emphasized that all forms of communication, including memes, could potentially be classified as financial promotions and thus subject to Section 21 of the law governing such promotions. The agency has noted a trend of shared memes and similar content on social media, often with users unaware that these could be subject to regulatory rules.
This potential expansion of financial promotion restrictions could impact memes shared on platforms like Twitter, Reddit, and Telegram. The FCA has noted that some projects, particularly meme-coins, heavily rely on memes for their value proposition. The agency has observed that crypto promotions featuring memes are especially widespread.
The FCA aims to provide clear meme guidelines to curb misleading or deceptive practices in online promotional activities. Lucy Castledine, the FCA’s director of consumer investments, stated that the agency aims to ensure firms stay compliant when marketing financial products online and warned of action against those promoting products illegally.
This move by the FCA is part of a larger effort to regulate crypto advertisements targeting UK consumers. Last year, a marketing campaign for the meme-coin Floki Inu (FLOKI), which included ads across the London Underground, was halted by UK authorities. The FCA also recently announced that crypto firms must adhere to new advertising rules by October 8 or face potential imprisonment or unlimited fines.