Indian Regulator SEBI Proposes Banning Public Figures From Endorsing Crypto Products

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has reportedly proposed banning public figures, including celebrities and sportsmen, from advertising and endorsing crypto products. The regulator also proposed that public figures be held liable for any law violations when promoting crypto products.

SEBI’s Crypto Advertising and Endorsement Proposal

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the country’s securities and commodity market regulator, has proposed prohibiting public figures, including celebrities and sportsmen, from endorsing crypto products, Businessline reported last week. In addition, the regulator proposed requiring advertisers to disclose possible law violations.

SEBI recently shared its view on the subject with India’s Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance when it was questioned about various crypto issues, sources told the publication. The regulator subsequently submitted a detailed written response to the committee.

The Indian Ministry of Finance also asked SEBI to give its view on the crypto advertising guidelines published in February by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI).

SEBI reportedly wrote:

Given that crypto products are unregulated, prominent public figures including celebrities, sportsmen, etc. or their voice shall not be used for endorsement/advertisement of crypto products.

Furthermore, the securities regulator proposed that public figures be held liable for endorsing crypto products, which could violate certain laws, including the Consumer Protection Act.

In addition, SEBI suggested adding the following statement to the ASCI disclaimer: “Dealings in crypto products may lead to prosecution for possible violation of Indian laws such as FEMA, BUDS Act, PMLA, etc.”

ASCI’s crypto guidelines, which went into effect on April 1, state: “Since this is a risky category, celebrities or prominent personalities who appear in such advertisements must take special care to ensure that they have done their due diligence about the statements and claims made in the advertisement, so as not to mislead consumers.”

Meanwhile, the Indian government is working on the country’s crypto policy. Finance ministry officials have met with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to discuss crypto regulation. India’s finance minister recently said that the decision on crypto regulation will not be rushed. Crypto income is currently taxed at 30% in India.

What do you think about SEBI’s view on prohibiting public figures from endorsing crypto products? Let us know in the comments section below.

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