Hong Kong’s securities regulator has taken a skeptical tone on investments linked to preliminary coin choices (ICOs).

In a speech at an investment decision business purpose on Friday, Julia Leung, deputy head of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Fee (SFC) once a lot more cautioned the public over fundraising activities affiliated with the technologies.

“When we acknowledge that innovative systems these kinds of as blockchain have the potential to make improvements to effectiveness and financial inclusion, that does not entitle any person to carry out fundraising from the public in violation of securities law,” Leung claimed.

She further more lifted considerations that, when disguised as blockchain technologies, numerous ICO projects may possibly not be truly featuring technological innovation and pose challenges for investors.

Leung stated:

“Even further complicating matters, numerous of these fundraising (activities) are dubious, if not downright frauds. The issuers escape the scrutiny of the police or securities regulators because of their cross-border mother nature and the way the crypto property are structured to fall outside the house any regulator’s perimeter.”

The feedback arrive just weeks just after it halted an ICO venture it considered was featuring unregistered securities in Hong Kong. Formerly the SFC has requested several exchanges to delist tokens derived from ICOs that were being also regarded by the company as securities.

As element of its efforts over the technologies, the SFC is also going to educate the public about the perceived challenges of investments in cryptocurrencies.

In January, the SFC and another company launched a media campaign across the city’s subway method in an work to dampen the growing hoopla over ICO investments.

In Friday’s speech, Leung attributed the attractiveness of these kinds of investments to a gambling way of thinking, stating: “Lots of millennials who subscribe to digital tokens in ICOs have an understanding of that there is no intrinsic price in the tokens but are betting on the speedy rise of the token price in the secondary marketplace.”

Leung picture courtesy of the SFC

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