The Central Bank has issued a warning about the risks of investing in crypto assets, as part of a Europe-wide awareness campaign.

Potential investors are cautioned that crypto assets are highly risky and speculative and may not be suitable for retail clients.

The Central Bank says people should be aware of the risks of misleading advertisements, especially on social media, where influencers are paid to advertise crypto assets.

“In Ireland and across the EU, we are seeing an increase in levels of advertising and aggressive promotion of investment in crypto assets,” said Derville Rowland, managing director of financial conduct at the Central Bank.

“While people may be attracted to these investments by the high returns advertised, the reality is that they come with significant risks,” Ms Rowland warned.

“Before buying crypto assets, you need to ask yourself if you can afford to lose all the money you invest. Do the promised fast or high returns sound too good to be true?” she added.

Consumers are warned that if things go wrong with an investment in crypto assets, they may not have the same protections as a regulated product.

The Central Bank has released an explainer for consumers about cryptocurrencies.