The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) has noticed an increase in the number of cryptocurrency offerings involving an initial coin offering (ICO) or initial token offering (ITO).
Companies may use cryptocurrency offerings to raise capital or to advance a project or a business, by issuing newly invented coins or tokens through an ICO or ITO. In many cases, these coins and tokens are securities. If they are securities, the company, and associated individuals, conducting the ICO or ITO must comply with securities law.
British Columbia residents should exercise extreme caution when considering whether to invest in a cryptocurrency offering. While some companies follow through on their business plan or idea, others do not. Some companies issue coins or tokens solely for speculative trading in the secondary market, which is an inherently risky activity for investors.
The BCSC urges anyone who has received an unsolicited offer to participate in an ICO or ITO to contact the BCSC inquiries line at 604-899-6854 or 1-800-373-6393.
The BCSC takes a proactive approach to help protect B.C. investors by publishing an Investment Caution List, which identifies unregistered activity and unqualified securities promoted in British Columbia. The BCSC relies on information from the public and other agencies to identify new entries to the list.
If you have any concerns about a person or company offering an investment opportunity, please contact BCSC Inquiries at 604-899-6854 or 1-800-373-6393 or through e-mail at [email protected] You can also file a complaint or submit a tip anonymously using the BCSC’s online complaint form.
InvestRight.org is the British Columbia Securities Commission’s investor education website. Subscribe to receive email updates from BCSC InvestRight.
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