The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a ruling that Premier League football club Arsenal FC misled fans with cryptocurrency-related adverts.

The ASA had argued that the ads, which appeared on the club’s website and Facebook page, failed to illustrate the risk of the investment.

The webpage, published on 6th August 2021, was entitled ‘$AFC Fan Token: Everything you need to know’. It included information explaining the Arsenal Fan Token and the benefits it offered.

The page included text at the bottom that stated: “In order to buy $AFC fan tokens you need to purchase the cryptocurrency Chiliz. Please remember that the future value of Fan Tokens is dependent on supply and demand, and can therefore go up as well as down. 

“Fans should be aware that they could lose some or all of their money invested. We advise you to spend only what you can afford and seek independent financial advice if required.”

The post on Arsenal’s Facebook page, posted on 12th August 2021, included text that stated: “$AFC is now live $CHZ… Ben White, Calum Chambers and Kieran Tierney have had their say… But what song do you want to hear when we win? Download the Socios app to get your token and vote.” 

The ASA argued that they did not make clear that the tokens were cryptoassets, which could only be obtained by opening a cryptoassets exchange account, and in the case of paid-for fan tokens, required the purchase of another cryptocurrency.

It also said the ads were irresponsible because they took advantage of consumers’ inexperience or credulity and trivialised engaging with and investing in cryptoassets.

It ordered Arsenal to take down the adverts late last year.

The Gunners appealed the decision, arguing that the post on its website was educational and included a warning. However the ASA took issue with the fact that this was at the bottom of the ad, meaning some users might not see it, and did not make consumers aware that paid-for Fan Tokens were unregulated in the UK.

The club also argued that fans had enough time before the publication of the Facebook post to become aware of the website post, while that ad did not promote the fan token as an investment that would bring capital gain or encourage the trading of cryptocurrencies.

Again, the ASA disagreed. It has ruled that the ads must not appear in that form again, and ordered the club to provide sufficient information about the fan tokens as an investment and cryptoassets.

FinTech app Dozens to close down

Crypto project ‘to sustain Ukraine humanitarian donations’

A new initiative has been launched to ensure sustained donations and support for the Ukraine crisis by building on the significant rise in global charitable donations from the cryptocurrency community. 

The project, created by the research and development company behind Cardano, Input Output Global, and leading Crypto philanthropy platform, The Giving Block, allows Cardano (ADA) holders to give their tokens to organisations participating in the Ukraine Emergency Response Fund, supporting humanitarian relief in the area.

The initiative is designed to draw attention to the continued humanitarian crisis in Ukraine  as the war falls down the news agenda, ensuring that much needed aid still reaches organisations working on the ground. The Ukraine Emergency Response Fund is an Impact Index Fund that allows crypto donors to donate to numerous organisations that are helping with the humanitarian crisis, including Save the Children, the International Medical Corps, Forgotten Children and many more. 

As part of the initiative, IOG has also donated $250,000 worth of ADA to the Ukraine Emergency Response Fund, which will be shared amongst multiple charities. 

Charles Hoskinson, CEO of IOG, said: “The power of blockchain and the crypto community to do good in the world shouldn’t be underestimated. Through this initiative, we are all able to provide charities with access to new sources of income which will go a long way to help the people of Ukraine in these incredibly difficult times. 

“We have been to the Polish-Ukrainian border and seen first-hand the fantastic work all the charities are doing to help people affected by the ongoing war and I’m proud that now, through The Giving Block, we can do even more to help them continue to provide humanitarian relief. This doesn’t just apply to the work going on in Ukraine, but can be embraced by charitable causes going on all over the world, ensuring more money reaches those who need it faster.”

Pat Duffy, co-founder of The Giving Block, said:  “We want to thank the entire team at Input Output Global for their generous donation of 500,000 ADA to our Ukraine Emergency Response Fund. This donation will be split amongst eight organisations and help thousands of people on the ground in Ukraine by providing life changing resources. Crises across the globe often require continued attention beyond early headlines and we are thankful for the crypto community’s dedication to assisting those affected.”

How does Kubernetes enable innovation in the real world?

Cryptocurrency shorts

Decentralised apps on Ethereum-scaling blockchain Polygon have hit 37,000, rocketing 400% this year. Its monthly active teams have also reached 11,800, up a huge 47.5% from March.

Ripple Labs, the company behind the XRP cryptocurrency, is interested in buying the assets of collapsed crypto lender Celsius Network, according to Reuters.

Injective, a company that has built and deployed a purpose-built blockchain for finance, has raised $40 million in new funding. Raised in a private token sale led by Jump Crypto, the round also saw participation from BH Digital, the crypto asset unit of investment firm Brevan Howard.

Coinbase is under investigation by US securities regulators over its token listing processes as well as its staking programs and yield-generating products. Fellow crypto exchange Bitfinex is also facing a possible criminal investigation in the US.

China’s internet censor has closed down 12,000 social media accounts, ordered the deletion of 51,000 posts and closed 105 websites in its latest crypto crackdown. Most were on the Sina-owned Weibo platform and Baidu’s Baidu Tieba. 

Polygon is partnering with long-established South Korean gaming publisher Neowiz to launch a new Web3 gaming platform called Intella X, supported by its native IX token. Games including Cats & Soup and Brave Nine will be ported over to the new platform with a Web3 twist.

World Table Tennis, the events arm of the sport’s governing body, has partnered with non-fungible token startup NFT Tech in an effort to expand the game. WTT will issue “digital collectibles, metaverse experiences, play-to-earn and move-to-earn gaming”.

Crypto advocate, billionaire and star of Shark Tank Mark Cuban has told YouTube channel Altcoin Daily that people should not buy plots of land in fledgling metaverses: “The worst part is that people are buying properties in these places. That’s just the dumbest s*** ever.”

Crypto prices

The overall market cap of the more than 20,500 coins is at $1.16 trillion at the time of writing (7am UK), a 7.5% increase in the last 24 hours.

Market leader Bitcoin – the original cryptocurrency created by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto – gained 7% to $24,570. BTC is 6% up on a week ago.

Ethereum, the second most valuable crypto coin – created as a decentralised network for smart contracts on the blockchain – rocketed 13% to $1,890. ETH is 15% up over the course of a week.

Binance Coin is a cryptocurrency created by popular crypto exchange Binance to assist its aim in becoming the infrastructure services provider for the entire blockchain ecosystem. Its BNB token added 5% to $332, leaving it 9% up over seven days.

The XRP token of Ripple, a payment settlement asset exchange and remittance system, acts as a bridge for transfers between other currencies. XRP gained 6% to 38 cents, with its price 2% up on seven days ago.

Cardano is an open source network facilitating dApps which considers itself to be an updated version of Ethereum. Its ADA token, designed to allow owners to participate in the operation of the network, rose 7% to 54c and is 7% up in a week.

Solana is a blockchain built to make decentralised finance accessible on a larger scale – and capable of processing 50,000 transactions per second. Its SOL token leapt 13% to $44.53 and is 13% higher than its price a week ago.

Polkadot was founded by the Swiss-based Web3 Foundation as an open-source project to develop a decentralised web. Its DOT token, which aims to securely connect blockchains, grew 10% to $9.48 and is 15% up on its price a week ago.

Meme coin DOGE was created as a satire on the hype surrounding cryptocurrencies but is now a major player in the space. DOGE gained 6% to 7.2c and is 7% up over seven days.

Avalanche is a lightning-quick verifiable platform for institutions, enterprises and governments. Its AVAX token grew 8% to $29.78 and is 25% up in a week.

Polygon aims to securely connect blockchains as a sort of decentralised internet. Its MATIC token rose 8% to 95c, while it is 5% up in a week.

To see how the valuations of the main coins have changed in recent times – and for round-ups of recent cryptocurrency news developments – click here.

For valuations of the top 100 coins by market cap in US dollars, plus 24-hour price change, see below.