State and provincial securities regulators have opened 130 new investigations into questionable cryptocurrency-related investment offerings and have 35 pending or completed enforcement actions since the beginning of 2019.
The North American Securities Administrators Association announced the new investigations Wednesday, which add to the more than 200 investigations already underway as part of NASAA’s Operation Cryptosweep initiative, launched last May.
Texas Securities Commissioner Travis Iles on Tuesday issued an emergency cease and desist order against New York-based Forex and Bitcoin Trader for touting on Craigslist Dallas a 900% return in 14 days. The firm deals in cryptocurrency investments, commodity-based derivatives and foreign currency trading.
Since its launch, the coordinated NASAA sweep has resulted in 85 pending or completed enforcement actions involving initial coin offerings or cryptocurrency-related investment products and approximately 330 inquiries or investigations by securities regulators from U.S. states and Canadian provinces.
“Recent headlines of potentially new cryptocurrency products and the near tripling in value of some cryptocurrencies and the sharp increase in market capitalization for all cryptocurrencies are again creating an environment that attracts white-collar criminals, bad actors and other promoters of illegal and fraudulent securities schemes,” said Michael Pieciak, NASAA President and Vermont commissioner of financial regulation, in announcing the new investigations. “Investors should be mindful of the hype and be aware of the risks when considering whether to jump into cryptocurrency-related investment products.”
NASAA also released Wednesday the third in its “Get in the Know” video series, featuring common crypto investment schemes and how to guard against becoming a victim.