After levying another enforcement action Monday in the Initial Coin Offering space, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton issued a warning to investors and advisors about the cryptocurrency and ICO markets.
“To date, no initial coin offerings have been registered with the SEC,” Clayton said in his Monday statement. “The SEC also has not to date approved for listing and trading any exchange-traded products (such as ETFs) holding cryptocurrencies or other assets related to cryptocurrencies. If any person today tells you otherwise, be especially wary.”
Bitcoin futures expiring in January were 18% higher and traded at $17,710 as of 12:25 p.m. in New York on Monday. That was up from an opening level of $15,000, on 3,561 contracts traded during their debut, according to the Global Markets Inc.’s exchange.
Clayton urged investors and advisors to review the investor alerts, bulletins and statements on initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency-related investments, including information on the marketing of certain offerings and investments by celebrities and others.
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“If you choose to invest in these products, please ask questions and demand clear answers,” Clayton said.
While the assertion has been that cryptocurrencies “are not securities and that the offer and sale of cryptocurrencies are beyond the SEC’s jurisdiction,” Clayton continued, “whether that assertion proves correct with respect to any digital asset that is labeled as a cryptocurrency will depend on the characteristics and use of that particular asset.”