The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) revealed that it has launched investigations into 50 cryptocurrency companies over unlicensed operations.
According to The Telegraph Money, the agency also said it was looking into seven whistle-blowing reports from employees engaged in the cryptocurrency sector.
“The huge sums lost as a result of cryptocurrency prices falling this year will have triggered a rash of complaints to the FCA. Now that prices have collapsed, fraud is likely to be exposed, with greater pressure coming to bear on the FCA to ensure that this market can operate transparently and fairly,” said Andrew Jacobs, a partner at Moore Stephens.
In other news, Reuters reported that many cryptocurrency issuers are paying for positive coverage of their virtual coins.
For example, earlier this year, Ukrainian start-up Hacken paid Christopher Greene, host of Alternative Media Television — a YouTube channel — to review its coin in a video. Greene never revealed to his more than 500,000 subscribers, however, that he was being paid for the review, as well as subsequent mentions on Twitter.
In fact, hundreds of crypto “experts” have emerged over the past 18 months, ready to get paid for spreading the word on any of the more than 2,000 cryptocurrencies currently on the market.
“The main reason why so many inexperienced individuals invest in bad crypto projects is because they listen to advice from a so-called expert,” said Larry Cermak, head of analysis at cryptocurrency research and news website The Block. “They believe they can take this advice at face value even though it is often fraudulent, intentionally misleading or conflicted.”
And despite previous reports, Argentina will not be receiving thousands of Bitcoin ATMs (BATMs) by the end of 2019.
Last month it was reported that U.S.-based financial solutions firm Odyssey Group would be rolling out 150 Bitcoin-enabled ATMs in Argentina by the end of 2018, and over a thousand more machines by 2019.
But according to The Next Web, the launch is not happening right now. “The expected start date of the ATMs in Argentina was postponed,” CEO Sebastian Ponceliz wrote in an email.