Investors in crypto assets should be prepared to lose all their money, said the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), an independent UK financial markets and services regulator. Nikhil Rathi, CEO of FCA, said Thursday that when technology is used to promote new investment for consumers, the correct control must be implemented. In a speech delivered at the FCA’s “Our Role and Business Plan” webinar, Rathi said there was a big increase in investment by young people, but that it was led by risky investments like cryptocurrencies. Rathi said the regulator was creating a £ 11 million (Rs 113.4 million) digital marketing campaign to warn them of the risks.
According to research, which FCA published last year, nearly 2.5 million people in the UK owned crypto assets. The latest analysis, Rathi said in his speech, showed that those who were “testing” digital currencies were not only comparatively younger, but proportionately more likely from an ethnic minority. The 51-year-old added that there was corroborating evidence that, as in the GameStop episode, more people viewed investing as entertainment and therefore behaved less rationally and emotionally.
This, he said, was prompted by anonymous and irresponsible social media influencers, adding that this was a category of consumers they weren’t used to interacting with. Mainly, they are between the ages of 18 and 30 more likely to be drawn to social media, Rathi said.
Although there is great potential for profit through smart investing in the cryptocurrency market, it certainly needs to be done in a systematic way, even if some advocates keep talking about “hold on forever.” Investors need to know the risks and do their own research so that if they are betting their money, they are doing so in a smart and planned way.
Speaking of the risks associated with the cryptocurrency market, Rathi said they are “crude,” adding that the body has repeatedly made clear that investors must be prepared to lose all their money. Interestingly, this comes just a day after Dogecoin co-creator Jackson Palmer said he will never go back to cryptocurrencies, adding that it was an “inherently right-wing hypercapitalist technology.”
Rathi, on the other hand, said that as technology grapples with the increasing number of consumer freedoms, we will face lawsuits and redress that we haven’t encountered before. Not only that, he added that we will also face deep ethical questions, especially with the increasing use of machine learning artificial intelligence for target consumers. Having said that, Rathi added that we need to be more open about it. “We also need to clearly communicate that these are not just questions for regulators, but for society, for Parliament and for the government,” he said.
On its website, the FCA said it is the conduct regulator for around 51,000 financial services and financial markets companies in the UK and the prudential supervisor for 49,000 companies, setting specific standards for around 18,000 companies. Established on April 1, 2013, the body aims to make the market work well, not only for its members, but also for individuals, businesses, large and small, and for the economy as a whole.