UK Top Regulator Warns Crypto Investors May Lose All Their Money
If you are thinking about investing in cryptocurrency, then be prepared to lose all your money..
This was the message from the Office by financial regulation and the UK Supervision Authority (FCA), which has warned that cryptocurrency-related investment and lending products involve «very high risks».
«FCA Aware of Firms Offering Investment in Crypto Assets, or lending and investment related to crypto assets, while promising high returns», – said the regulator of financial services.
«If consumers invest in this type of product, they must be prepared to lose all their money.».
The FCA warning sounded amid frenzied volatility in the cryptocurrency market. Bitcoin and other digital currencies fell sharply on Monday, licking about $ 170 billion from the total value of all cryptocurrencies combined.
Bitcoin (BTC) surged to new records last week, surging to $ 41,973. Investors increasingly view digital assets as a hedge against inflation – like gold – in a time of unprecedented government stimulus.
But Bitcoin’s soaring rise caused some observers to warn that this could be a market bubble that is likely to burst soon. The world’s most expensive cryptocurrency has soared more than 300% in the past 12 months. Bank of America called it «mother of bubbles» in his recent analytical note.
«The regulator is clearly concerned that the high risks already inherent in cryptoassets are exacerbated by fraudulent activities, as well as by unregulated companies targeting consumer inflow with marketing materials that highlight the benefits, but not the potential disadvantages of investing in cryptoassets.», – wrote in his note Leith Khalaf (Laith Khalaf), Financial Analyst at AJ Bell.
The FCA has recently tightened its stance on cryptocurrencies by banning the sale of crypto derivatives to retail investors. The regulator, which introduced a new register for businesses dealing with cryptoassets, warned that companies operating without registration are committing «criminal offense».
«As with all high-risk speculative investments, consumers must ensure that they understand what they are investing in, the risks associated with the investment, and any regulatory safeguards that apply.», – said in a message from FCA.
«For investments related to cryptoassets, consumers are unlikely to have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) or the Financial Services Compensation Program (Financial Service Compensation Scheme, FSCS) if something goes wrong».
«Consumers need to be careful if they are unexpectedly contacted, forced to invest quickly, or are promised fabulous returns, which sounds too good to be true.».