Crypto firms have started to bombard people from London with a record number of ads on public transportations during 2021. This fueled calls for a ban to prevent alluring people into what was described as "risky investments."

Surge in Crypto Ads Causes Major Concerns as Calls to Ban Gambling and Crypto Ads Rise

According to the story by The Guardian, the surge in crypto ads, which remain unregulated in the United Kingdom, has caused concerns regarding the risk of addiction and financial harm. To add, this is particularly given by the wide volatility in the price of certain digital currencies like Bitcoin, as it reached a record high before crashing.

The Transport for London has also not implemented any ban on gaming ads as promised by the mayor, which allowed the industry to step up its marketing activity in the meantime. To add, the Guardian obtained records from the Freedom of Information Act showing TfL services displaying 39,560 crypto ads from 13 different firms in the span of six months from April to September in 2021.

eToro, Floki, Crypto.com, and Luno Money Among Ads Shown on London Transportation Systems

Advertisers include eToro, Floki, Crypto.com, and Luno Money, with its campaign telling people it was "time to buy" bitcoin banned by ad regulators for being "irresponsible." With that, in 2019, the only ad offering crypto services on TfL trains and buses was eToro which paid for five digital displays as well as 40 "supersides."

Despite many people working from home in 2020, the total volume of crypto ads has increased, with certain companies like Luno Money and Coinfloor buying a massive 1,595 ads between them both.

39,560 Crypto Ads were Shown in the Span of Six Months

Before the most recent surge, 2018 was previously the "busiest year" for crypto ads on TfL as per the data collected in 2017. During that time, 15,000 ads appeared in 12 months compared to the 39,560 ads for 2021 in the span of just six months.

The ads in 2021 included promotions for firms like Kraken, Hex, BOTS, and Puglife. Overall, about $1.1 million was spent by crypto companies on TfL tube and train ads ever since 2018 without including spending data for buses.

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Mayor Urged to Ban Gambling and Crypto Ads

The Green party's former co-leader, Siân Berry, urged the mayor to move forward with the ban on gambling and extend it to crypto ads. She noted that investment bubbles have always worked by dragging in even more "inexperienced suckers" towards a cycle's end.

She noted that the risk is that they are drawing people more likely to lose their money which is considered "equivalent to gambling." She also shared that she thinks those types of promotions should be banned by Transport for London.

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Written by Urian B.

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