The Hong Kong’s Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (FSTB) as well as the Investor Education Centre (IEC), which is a subsidiary of the Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), today launched a public campaign to raise the awareness of citizen against the “potential risks” of buying cryptocurrency and investing in ICOs. According to the body, the public campaign will include TV and print media spots with warnings.
September last year, the SFC expressed “concern” at the boom in ICO funding, which saw nearly $4 billion in capital raised in 2017. Not only are the investments unregulated, but there’s increasing concern that some tokens — which are distributed during an ICO in exchange for fiat sums or cryptocurrency — may violate securities laws.
Adding to that, the ICO industry is awash with fraud. A recent report from Ernst & Young found that 10% of funds raised from ICOs was stolen or lost. Telegram’s upcoming $1.2 billion ICO, for instance, launched at least a dozen scam sites that duped potential investors. While this past weekend, a Japanese exchange claimed to have lost over $400 million in tokens.
Dr. Kelvin Wong, the Chairman of the IEC, in a statement, explained why “high-risk” crypto investments “are not suitable for everyone.” He said:
“‘Cryptocurrencies’ are highly speculative and are associated with various kinds of risks. Their prices may be susceptible to significant fluctuations due to speculative activities. Investors may suffer significant monetary losses as a result of the volatile prices.”
Though there is no preview of these adverts, but the campaign should begin this week as planned with notices on Hong Kong’s MTR stations, and within print and digital media. The TV campaign is scheduled for March, and it’ll be accompanied by radio ads and a video for social media.
A number of websites have also been set up.
The image above is taken from one of them.
Do you agree that Hong Kong Regulators are right by warning against ICOs and crypto investment?
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