Last week, the provincial investment-industry watchdog warned investors to exercise "extreme caution" with regard to cryptocurrency offerings.
And today, the B.C. Securities Commission announced that it's participating in an "international crackdown on fraudulent Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency-related investment products".
"Operation Cryptosweep" has involved sending letters to 12 offshore operators that are advertising ICOs in B.C. or are inviting B.C. residents to invest.
They've been asked to cease these activities and comply with B.C.'s laws regarding the sale of investment products.
“Fraudsters are always looking for new ways to attract victims and many are taking advantage of the popularity of cryptocurrencies to perpetrate their schemes,” BCSC enforcement director Doug Muir said in a news release. “While not every ICO or crypto-asset related investment is a fraud, the BCSC encourages investors to exercise caution and do their research before making an ICO or cryptocurrency related investment.”
The North American Securities Administrators Association is coordinating investigations that have identified hundreds of ICO offerings on aggregate sites.
Its task force has also detected about 30,000 registered domain names that appear to be linked to cryptocurrencies and ICOs—and most of them popped up in 2017 and 2018.
Despite the crackdown, there's still a great deal of enthusiasm for this sector.
That was demonstrated by the following tweet by Chris Burniske, author of Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor's Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond.