The head of the US Securities and Exchange Commission is concerned about the risk of initial coin offering (ICO) fraud affecting investors.
Speaking during an event in Washington, D.C., SEC chair Jay Clayton indicated that he expects there to be “pump-and-dump schemes in the initial coin offering space,” according to a report from Bloomberg.
“This is an area where I’m concerned about what’s going to happen to retail investors,” he was quoted as saying.
Recent actions by the agency support Clayton’s stated fears over the risk of fraud in the ICO space. On Tuesday, the SEC unveiled a new cyber unit dedicated in part to policing “violations involving distributed ledger technology and initial coin offerings.”
It was earlier this summer that the SEC formally outlined its intention to police activities around ICOs, declaring that it would consider them securities offerings in some instances. As part of that release, the SEC revealed the findings of an investigation into The DAO, the ethereum-based funding vehicle that collapsed in the summer of 2016 following a fatal code exploit.
“U.S. federal securities law may apply to various activities, including distributed ledger technology, depending on the particular facts and circumstances, without regard to the form of the organization or technology used to effectuate a particular offer or sale,” the agency said at the time.
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