Ireland’s central bank leader calls for ban on crypto ads targeted at youth
Gabriel Makhlouf says that ads aimed at young adults should be banned.
The governor of Ireland’s central bank has called for legislators to ban crypto ads aimed at youth, according to a Reuters report dated Jan. 25.
Gabriel Makhlouf, Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, said that a “reasonable number” of young adults had invested their money in cryptocurrency. He added that there is an “uncomfortable” amount of advertising targeting youth.
Makhlouf explicitly advocated for a ban before an Irish parliamentary committee, stating:
“If you could find a way, I would recommend that adverts to [the young adult] cohort are banned.”
He described most cryptocurrencies as a Ponzi scheme because other assets do not back many tokens. He then asserted that investing in cryptocurrency is “essentially gambling” and said that investment usually leads to loss.
He also warned that upcoming EU legislation concerning stablecoins — backed by fiat currency — would not solve the issue. Reuters implied that Makhlouf was referring to MiCA regulations, which include rules for stablecoin issuers.
The Bank of Ireland and its executives have previously issued similar warnings. Makhlouf cautioned Bitcoin investors that they could lose money on their Bitcoin investments in 2021. The bank also issued another warning about crypto investment in March 2022, which included a warning about misleading cryptocurrency advertisements. The country has issued variations on these warnings that date back to at least 2018.
Despite its numerous warnings toward consumers, Ireland takes a somewhat permissive stance toward crypto companies. Gemini and Binance are among the companies that have gained regulatory approval to operate in the country in recent years.