Administrators Association (NASAA) today revealed that more than 130 new cryptocurrency-related cases are being actively investigated, with 35 enforcement actions already taken since the beginning of 2019.
These investigations are part of the association’s ongoing coordinated regulatory initiative called Operation Cryptosweep, which was launched in 2018. At that time, more than 40 state and provincial securities regulators in the United States and Canada launched their coordinated enforcement sweep of the ICO market.
NASAA noted that while some of the investigations involve suspected securities fraud, the regulators are also finding many other violations, including failure to register a product before it was offered to investors.
NASAA president Michael Pieciak said that Facebook’s plans to launch a digital currency that will allow its billions of users to make financial transactions across the globe is “creating an environment that attracts white-collar criminals, bad actors, and other promoters of illegal and fraudulent securities schemes.”
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Crypto firms are moving to locations more welcoming
He added that “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 organized a task force to launch investigations into ICOs and cryptocurrency-related investment products. The task force found more than 30,000 crypto-related domain name registrations, the vast majority of which appeared in 2017 and 2018.
Confronted with North American watchdogs intensifying scrutiny of crypto fund-raising, many startups are moving their businesses to locations more welcoming such as Malta, Switzerland, and Eastern Europe.
“As with any investment opportunity, be cautious when dealing with promoters who claim their offering does not have to be registered with securities regulators. Investigate independently before you invest and contact your state or provincial securities regulator with any concerns before parting with your hard-earned money,” added the NASAA chief.