'Very High Risk': UK Finance Watchdog Issues Statement on ICOs

The U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority is the latest in a wave of regulators to issue a formal warning on initial coin offerings.

AccessTimeIconSep 12, 2017 at 11:30 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 6:55 a.m. UTC

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

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