It’s been an explosive past few weeks for the crypto market. While much focus has been put on Bitcoin and Ethereum, altcoins have also performed extremely well, with some rallying hundreds of percent or thousands of percent in literal days.
Although much of this growth has been through legitimate projects, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is once again warning of fraudulent ICOs.
Related Reading: Crypto Tidbits: Ethereum Surges 20%, US Banks Can Hold Bitcoin, DeFi Still in Vogue
SEC: Be Aware of “Potential Scams” Involving Crypto ICOs
In a tweet published July 30th, the New York office of the SEC wrote: “Be aware of potential scams involving Initial Coin Offerings.”
Attached to the office’s warning was an investor alert from August 28th, 2017 — near the peak of the last ICO boom — written by the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy.
Be aware of potential scams involving Initial Coin Offerings: https://t.co/weG4zl8n7F
— SEC New York (@NewYork_SEC) July 30, 2020
The alert, though, is somewhat outdated: it mentions “potential scams involving stock of companies claiming to be related to, or asserting they are engaging in, Initial Coin Offerings (or ICOs).”
From the information NewsBTC has, these scams are not as prevalent as they were in 2017. However, it is still worth keeping one’s head on a swivel, so to say, when dealing with characters purporting to offer ICOs or related investment vehicles.
PBOC Targeting ICOs as Well
The SEC isn’t the only authority to have targeted ICOs over the years.
As reported by NewsBTC last year, the Shanghai branch of the People’s Bank of China warned against cryptocurrency-related speculation through ICOs, IEOs, STOs, and other capital-raising/token distribution methods.
According to a rough translation of that note, the PBOC warned that the sale of tokens for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other virtual currencies remains “essentially unauthorized illegal public financing, suspected of illegal sale of tokens, illegal issuance of securities and illegal fund-raising.”
PBOC Shanghai Head office just made a new regulatory update as
“Strengthen regulation and control, clamp down cryptocurrency trading” pic.twitter.com/zL0BgOJBUF
— Dovey 以德服人 Wan (@DoveyWan) November 22, 2019
This came just a year after the PBOC sent out another warning message about ICOs, in which it stated:
“As of the date of this announcement, all types of token issuance financing activities shall cease immediately. The organizations and individuals who have completed the financing of tokens should make arrangements for repatriation and so on, reasonably protect the interests and properly handle the risks.”
Featured Image from Shutterstock Price tags: Charts from TradingView.com As Crypto Rips Higher, the US SEC is Warning of ICO Scams Yet Again