Commenting on an increase in the number of cryptocurrency offerings, the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) on Thursday issued a warning to investors about the inherent risks of these sorts of transactions.
Investors should “exercise extreme caution” when they consider participating in these sorts of transactions, the BCSC says in its investor alert.
“While some companies follow through on their business plan or idea, others do not,” it says. “Some companies issue coins or tokens solely for speculative trading in the secondary market, which is an inherently risky activity for investors.”
In many cases, these coins and/or tokens are considered securities, the BCSC says, which means that these offerings have to be made in accordance with securities laws. Yet, this remains a grey area for regulators, issuers and investors alike.
Any investors that have received an unsolicited offer to participate in an initial coin offering or initial token offering should contact the commission, the BCSC says.
The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) issued its own warning to investors about the risks of trading in cryptocurrency products last year.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it has launched a fake ICO of its own in an effort to help warn investors about the dangers of these sorts of offerings.