The U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the latest in a wave of regulators around the globe to issue a formal warning on initial coin offerings (ICOs).
The FCA states on its website that ICOs constitute "very high-risk, speculative investments," and that, as they are largely unregulated, it may not be able to offer protection of any kind.
The warning urges investors to report any potential scams to the FCA, whilst suggesting the public should "learn more about potential benefits and challenges of the underlying technology that facilitates ICOs" via a link to in-house research on distributed ledger technology (DLT).
The statement follows similar warnings that have emerged from financial regulators internationally, such as U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Canadian Securities Administrators, Malaysia's Securities Commission, the Bank of Russia, the People's Bank of China and the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong.
China's financial regulators also issued a full ban on ICOs earlier this month, in a statement which has been fully translated by CoinDesk here.
UK Justice Court image via Shutterstock
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, institutional digital assets exchange. Bullish group is majority owned by Block.one; both groups have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary, and an editorial committee, chaired by a former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, is being formed to support journalistic integrity.