Global Securities Watchdog Warns Investors on ICO Risks

NEWS
Wolfie Zhao
Jan 19, 2018 at 11:00 UTC

An organization comprised of global securities regulators has issued a notice today alerting investors to the perceived risks associated with initial coin offerings (ICOs).

The group, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), warned that, since cryptocurrencies can operate freely across borders, these "highly speculative investments" are attracting participation from retail investors based in different countries.

In the event of a potential scam or fraud, token sale projects may be out of the jurisdiction of the investor's country of residence. As such, the organization advises investors to be "very careful" before investing in ICOs.

The notice is just the latest case in which financial regulators from around the world have been actively monitoring the development of either individual token sales or ICO activity as a whole.

Over the last year, multiple countries had made notable moves on regulating ICOs. While China and South Korea formally banned such activities, other places like the U.S., the U.K. and recently Malaysia, are also increasing scrutiny over token issuances that may be defined as securities.

As detailed by IOSCO in its website, so far financial watchdogs from at least 26 countries have issued warnings on ICO risks.

Based in Madrid, Spain, IOSCO consists of top financial watchdogs from over 100 countries around the world. Notable members include the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority and European Securities and Markets Authority.

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