- US partners with Canada to start Operation Crypto-Sweep to stop crypto-related scams.
- The task force has already triggered at least 70 investigations so far.
Report reaching Cryptona.co revealed that the US and Canada regulators are launching an extensive clampdown dubbed Operation Crypto-Sweep on some cryptocurrency investment schemes. The director of enforcement at the Texas State Securities Board, Joseph Rotunda, stated that:
“Although the international task force’s work is far from complete, my suspicions have already been confirmed: The market for cryptocurrency investments is saturated with fraud, and our work is only revealing the tip of the iceberg.”
The operation is being controlled by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) and at least 40 states and provincial regulators watchdogs are participating in the Operation Crypto-Sweep, which has triggered at least 70 investigations so far. The operation, first reported by The Washington Post, focuses on a cryptocurrency fundraising process known as ICOs, as well as other “investment schemes.”
Earlier this month, Texas State Securities Board sent a warning letter to the UK-based BTCrush stating that the firm was violating securities laws and misleading investors through its marketing. BTCrush published video coverages showing the interior and workings of what it claims was three fully operating mining farms. However, Texas regulator said the video coverages were actually sourced from the publicly available stock footage.
The state regulator also took some actions against Wind Wide Coin, which used pictures of celebrities to advertise its digital. Rotunda added:
“Promoters also know that anyone can be anyone and say anything about anything on the internet. Not surprisingly, they are also manipulating photographs, media, testimonials and other online information to deceive the public into believing their claims.”
The clampdown comes amidst rising attention in the US to curb crypto-related scams, the move led by the US SEC and the CFTC. The SEC has charged operators of ICOs with a number of fraud cases and last week created a fake ICO website, HoweyCoins.com, to raise investors awareness to recognize scams.
Regulators from Massachusetts are also joining in the clampdown. According to Massachusetts’ secretary of the Commonwealth, William Francis Galvin, the task force has found about 30,000 cryptocurrency related domain name registrations, most of which were registered late last year as Bitcoin price soared neared $20,000. William said:
“Not every ICO or cryptocurrency-related investment is fraudulent, but we urge investors to approach any initial coin offering or cryptocurrency-related investment product with extreme caution. Fraudulent activity involving ICOs and cryptocurrency-related investment products is a serious threat to Massachusetts investors.”