SEC Chairman Jay Clayton recently issued a statement warning investors about the risks of investing in cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (“ICO”). “A number of concerns have been raised regarding the cryptocurrency and ICO markets, including that, as they are currently operating, there is substantially less investor protection than in our traditional securities markets, with correspondingly greater opportunities for fraud and manipulation.”
In his statement, Mr. Clayton also reinforced the agency-position that the legality of a particular cryptocurrency is determined by the specific facts and circumstances of each case. The SEC Chairman said investors must do in-depth analysis to determine whether the products and offerings are legal.
Bitcoin futures began to plunge shortly after the SEC’s warning to investors. But volatile ups and downs have long been a trademark of the cryptocurrency. Bitcoin, which was created in 2009, surged to national attention this year as the price skyrocketed from under $1,000 to over $15,000.
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