Securities regulators from across the U.S. and Canada announced a cryptocurrency crackdown Monday as they revealed details of coordinated probe into fraud in initial coin offerings and various digital currency investment schemes.
Officials from more than 40 jurisdictions announced “Operation Cryptosweep” has resulted in 70 investigations and 35 pending or completed enforcement actions.
The coordinated operation was announced by the North American Securities Administrators Association.
“The persistently expanding exploitation of the crypto ecosystem by fraudsters is a significant threat to Main Street investors in the United States and Canada, and NASAA members are committed to combating this threat,” said Joseph P. Borg, NASAA President and Director of the Alabama Securities Commission. “Despite a series of public warnings from securities regulators at all levels of government, cryptocriminals need to know that state and provincial securities regulators are taking swift and effective action to protect investors from their schemes and scams.”
The action was the result of work started last month when officials began looking at many of the intial coin offerings – releases of digital currency to investors similar to initial public offerings when stocks go public.
The operation is ongoing.
“The actions announced today are just the tip of the iceberg,” Borg said.
Many of the actions involved cease and desist letters sent to companies deemed to be acting fraudulently.
A full list of the companies named as respondents in the actions, and in many cases, links to orders in the cases, can be found here