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Jun 22, 2018

‘People are getting hurt’: OSC chief Jensen sounds alarm on cryptos

OSC chair on crypto investing: ‘People are getting hurt'

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The CEO and executive chair of the Ontario Securities Commission is warning investors who buy into the cryptocurrency hype to proceed with caution.

“I think this is the new shiny thing to invest in – and people are getting hurt,” Maureen Jensen told BNN Bloomberg’s Amanda Lang.

“There are cryptocurrency firms, so I would say ICOs, that are completely legitimate, that are playing by the rules, that are raising capital to build blockchain environments and new systems that could potentially be the unicorns of the future,” she added.

But Jensen warned of the “many, many fraud artists” who are trying to raise capital from individual investors.

“It’s never possible [to get rid of the fraudsters] because they just keep morphing and changing,” she said. “So we’ve been working very hard to ensure that investors understand that they need to understand what they’re investing in.”

Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have gained mainstream attention over the past year but have proven to be extremely volatile.

Bitcoin has lost more than half of its value since reaching a high of US$19,666 in December 2017.

The cryptocurrency took its latest hit Friday, sinking 8.31 per cent to US$6,155.50 as of 1:32 p.m. Friday, after Japanese regulators ordered six exchanges to improve measures against money laundering.

Jensen urged investors not to buy into any digital currency before checking who’s behind it.

“Just because someone calls it cryptocurrency, don’t just put your money down – because you may never see it again.”   

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