Cryptocurrency advertising is often at the fore of controversy. It’s hardly a surprise. Many crypto projects advertise in a similar way to gambling websites, encouraging users to ‘buy in’ for ‘big rewards’ with bright, noticeable texts on websites that are designed to pound the user with constant advertising consumption.
Many of these adverts go unregulated. Indeed, the regulation of internet advertising is essentially impossible, therefore, consumers are left to the wrath of sneaky creatives and clever marketers. Authorities in Russia however, are alleged to have issued the world’s first fine for the advertising of a cryptocurrency mining service.
According to Bitcoinist.com:
“Local news outlet Interfax reports August 8, the Eleventh Arbitration Court of Appeal (ACA) found the publication Edinstvo Nizhnekamsk, which circulates in the Republic of Tatarstan, in breach of advertising regulations.”
Is this a case of crypto censorship, or are they just protecting the best interests of local people?
The advert itself, stated the following:
“Investments in cryptocurrency. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Zcash. Assembly and setup of mining farms.”
This, was followed by a phone number. It’s hardly the flashy, online crypto advertising that we see on a regular basis now is it?
A case was raised against the advert and the company by The Anti-Monopoly Service on the premise that the advertisement was actually offering financial services as opposed to offering financial consultancy, which the company in question is alleged to have been focused on.
According to Bitcoinist, The Anti-Monopoly Service said:
“From the sense of the content of the aforementioned advertisement, it follows that Richard Timurovich Blumchen is offering financial services, and not consulting ones.”
See the full article for yourself, here.
What do we think of this?
It does seem a bit like censorship. On the flip side though, if this company is saying they offer one product, but then advertise another then they are in breach of regulations. If the authorities don’t enforce their regulations, what is the point in even having them?
All things aside, the courts have issued a $760.00 fine, the first of its kind against a cryptocurrency based advert. Is this a sign of things to come? Could this spur on a new charge against cryptocurrency advertising? Probably not, but it might encourage some authorities to re-address their own policies and regulatory procedures?