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Cryptocurrency exchanges turn to targeted ad, marketing campaigns to soothe investor nerves


Cryptocurrency exchanges are turning to targeted advertising and marketing campaigns to soothe the nerves of investors who are exiting their investments amid regulatory uncertainty on the virtual currencies.

Some of the exchanges, including CoinDCX and CoinSwitch Kuber, have re-started advertising and marketing campaigns, albeit not as aggressively as earlier, industry insiders said. In most cases, the advertisements are aired on social media and other digital platforms.

The exchanges had suspended ads, after an advertising blitzkrieg in the past few months that were criticised for being puffery and misleading by many. The government, which has also raised concerns over lack of transparency in crypto ads, is working on legislation on the sector. Meanwhile, ET reported on Thursday that the Advertising Standards Council of India was in discussions with the government to include adequate disclosure of risk in the crypto ads to ensure that consumers don’t mistake these products to be legal tender.

According to a person part of the Blockchain and Crypto Assets Council, an industry advisory body, several exchanges wanted to restart advertising, especially targeting their existing investors. Some of them are looking to roll out advertisements across platforms in the coming week as they hope to get some clarity on the legality of crypto assets.

CoinDCX and Coinswitch Kuber did not respond to ET’s queries.

A WazirX spokesperson said the exchange has not re-started any advertising but is focusing on “investor education campaigns”. She said: “Crypto is a new market in India and for our investors, we have ensured to keep all our communication channels open through all mediums and our social handles.”

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Indian cryptocurrency exchanges are
estimated to have collectively spent more than Rs 50 crore during the recently concluded ICC T20 World Cup, ET reported last month.

The ad blitz may have heightened government and regulatory concerns over virtual currencies and the commercials that promote them, said industry trackers. This led the exchanges to stay away from advertisements till there was regulatory clarity.

“While the new advertisements are basic ones, that inform about the exchange or there are marketing campaigns targeted at existing investors. The advertising spend for the sector is not as much as before,” a person aware of the matter told ET.

“We will wait for the government to frame the guidelines and we will comply and act accordingly,” this person added.

There has been a fall in new sign-ups on cryptocurrency exchanges, as prospective investors seem to be cautious till regulatory clarity emerges on the asset class.

New user sign-ups are a matrix used to value crypto companies.

Many cryptocurrency exchanges are also waiting for the government to come out with guidelines around advertising.

The government is expected to do so in the next one month along with broad framework around cryptocurrencies.

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