• The UK Treasury has proposed a ban on cold calls for consumer financial services, including crypto.
• A consultation paper was published that highlighted the prevalence of scams perpetuated via cold calling.
• Stakeholders have been invited to provide their perspectives and supporting evidence on the proposed ban.
UK Treasury Eyes Cold Calling Ban Impacting Crypto Industry
The UK government is seeking to implement a ban on cold calls for consumer financial services, with the crypto sector likely to be affected. As part of the U.K. Treasury Fraud Strategy introduced in May 2021, a consultation paper was released inviting public input regarding potential impacts of such a move.
Prevalence of Scams Perpetuated Via Cold Calling
The consultation paper presented various case studies which illustrated instances where scammers employed cold calling to deceive investors, one of which specifically revolved around cryptocurrency. While the individual’s identity was altered, this particular case involved someone being scammed out of £40,000 in crypto assets after being convinced by an unknown caller that they could double their money if they invested with them. It also highlighted other examples such as pension fraud and investment scams which had utilized cold calling techniques to rob victims of their savings or property assets without them realizing what had happened until it was too late.
In order to gain views from stakeholders on how such a ban would impact consumers as well as businesses, HM Treasury has invited those interested in providing their perspectives and supporting evidence to do so by completing an online survey or by sending written responses before September 7th 2021.
Implications for Crypto Sector
If implemented, this ban could potentially create a great degree of uncertainty within the crypto market due to its decentralized nature making it difficult for regulators to enforce rules across exchanges and trading platforms operating outside the U.K.. Additionally, some concerns have been raised about how this could hinder innovation within the sector as well as limit access for those who would benefit from legitimate offerings provided through these channels but may not have access otherwise due to lack of awareness or resources available elsewhere.
It remains unclear at this point whether this proposed ban will be implemented or what its exact implications might be should it come into force; however it is clear that there are both pros and cons associated with it depending upon which perspective is taken into account when considering its potential consequences on both consumers and businesses alike operating within the crypto space.