More than 200 investigations into cryptocurrency investments are currently underway in the United States and Canada, including some in Alabama.
The Alabama Securities Commission announced in a press release Tuesday that they’re working with the North American Securities Administrators Association on Operation Cryptosweep, an initiative focused on Initial Coin Offerings and cryptocurrency-related investment products. In Alabama, the ASC is working on 21 Initial Coin Offerings investigations and has issued seven Cease and Desist orders involving cryptocurrencies.
The effort launched in May, and since then there have been 47 “enforcement actions” involving cryptocurrency investigations, the press release said.
ASC Director Joseph Borg said some of the operation’s investigations involve suspected securities fraud, but investigators have found people breaking other laws, such as failing to properly register a product before it’s offered to investors.
“The ASC is committing the necessary regulatory resources to protect investors in Alabama from financial harm involving fraudulent ICOs and cryptocurrency-related investment products and also is raising awareness among industry participants of their regulatory responsibilities,” Borg said.
“While not every ICO or cryptocurrency-related investment is a fraud, it is important for individuals and firms selling these products to be mindful that they are not doing so in a vacuum; Alabama laws or regulations may apply, especially securities laws. Sponsors of these products should seek the advice of knowledgeable legal counsel to ensure they do not run afoul of the law. A strong culture of compliance should be in place before, not after, these products are marketed to investors.”
Products that qualify as securities should be registered with the appropriate regulatory agency or qualify for an exemption. The ASC said investors should do thorough research before investing in any Initial Coin Offering or cryptocurrency product.
“Do your homework and contact the ASC with any concerns before parting with your hard-earned money – afterwards may be too late,” Borg said.