Central Bank warning on investing in crypto-assets

22 March 2022 Press Release

Central Bank of Ireland

  • Europe-wide warning highlights risky and speculative nature of crypto-assets.
  • People should be alert to misleading ads, especially on social media.
  • Central Bank of Ireland explainer and warning for consumers on virtual currencies.

The Central Bank has today (22 March 2022) issued a fresh warning on the risks of investing in crypto assets, as part of a European-wide campaign by the European Supervisory Authorities.

The Central Bank again emphasised that crypto assets are highly risky and speculative, and may not be suitable for retail customers. In particular people need to be alert to the risks of misleading advertisements, particularly on social media, where influencers are being paid to advertise crypto assets.

Derville Rowland, Director General Financial Conduct said: “In Ireland and across the EU we are seeing increasing levels of advertising and aggressive promotion of crypto asset investments.

“While people may be attracted to these investments by the high returns advertised, the reality is that they carry significant risk.

“Before you buy crypto assets, you need to think about whether you can afford to lose all the money you invest. Do the promised fast or high returns seem too good to be true?

“People should also be aware that if things go wrong, you do not have the protections you would have if you invested in a regulated product.”

The Central Bank has published a plain English explainer for consumers on cryptocurrencies.

Notes to Editor

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is an independent EU Authority that contributes to safeguarding the stability of the EU's financial system by enhancing the protection of investors and promoting stable and orderly financial markets.

Derville Rowland has served as Chair of ESMA’s Investment Management Standing Committee since 1 July 2021. Standing committees are expert groups drawn from ESMA staff and Member States’ National Competent Authorities. The Investment Management Standing Committee works on issues relating to the investment funds sector and is responsible for the development of policy and supervisory convergence activities.

ESMA Statement on Investment Recommendations on Social Media (October 2021)