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This article was published on August 29, 2018

    NASAA launches an investigation into over 200 allegedly fraudulent ICOs

    Not the NASA you were thinking about

    NASAA launches an investigation into over 200 allegedly fraudulent ICOs
    Matthew Beedham
    Story by

    Matthew Beedham

    Editor, SHIFT by TNW

    Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls. Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls.

    The days of the pump and dump ICO may be numbered: the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) is on the warpath, taking action against potentially dodgy cryptocurrency schemes.

    In an announcement made yesterday, NASAA revealed it has opened over 200 cases investigating possibly illegitimate, illegal, and fraudulent ICOs and cryptocurrency related businesses since its launch in May 2018. All under the codename “Operation Cryptosweep.”

    NASAA is a collective task force made up of representatives from the US, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. Its aim is to uncover illegitimate cryptocurrency scams, and protect potential unwitting investors.

    “State and provincial securities regulators are committing significant regulatory resources to protect investors from financial harm involving fraudulent ICOs and cryptocurrency-related investment products and also are raising awareness among industry participants of their regulatory responsibilities,” said NASAA President and Alabama Securities Commission Director Joseph P. Borg, in the announcement.

    The point NASAA makes is that, if cryptocurrencies qualify as securities then they must be subject to, and apply for specific regulatory certification, or they must apply for exemption. Either way they must acknowledge this regulatory process in some way, the reality is, many do not.

    A full list of all those being investigated as part of “Operation Cryptosweep” can be seen here. It seems the primary reason for investigation is due to selling “unregistered securities.”

    The rise of the ICO presents a challenging future for cryptocurrency investors, and the general public alike. With a widely unregulated field, there are few safeguards to protect investors from dodgy scams.

    At Hard Fork we recently reported how most of the top 100 cryptocurrencies don’t actually have a working product, giving investors no return for their money. What’s more, cryptocurrency exit scams exist, which specifically aim to raise money and run. They’ve illegitimately taken over $100 million from investors.

    Supposed regulation is one of blockchain and cryptocurrency’s most challenging issues right now. Whether for or against great control of our digital assets, hopefully “Operation Cryptosweep” will help to legitimize the field, and weed out the crooks.