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Tennessee officials participate in coordinated international 'crypto-crackdown'

Brandon Paykamian • Updated May 21, 2018 at 5:33 PM

With the support of some involved in the local cryptocurrency market, the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance announced plans Monday to support an international crackdown on fraudulent cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency investment practices.

When it comes to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin, local cryptocurrency entrepreneur John Cannon said not all coins are created equally. He said he supports regulating the cryptocurrency industry to crack down on “scams.”

“There are about 2,000 coins out there right now, and you can imagine out of a couple thousand coins, there’s going to be some scams,” Cannon said. “Getting rid of the scams improves the whole ecosystem if they do it intelligently.

“I would love to know if these regulators really understand the difference between good coins and bad coins,” he added. “I am all for intelligent intervention of governments into the crypto space.”

Throughout this week, the TDCI and the North American Securities Administrators Association will issue a series of consumer alerts urging caution when investing in cryptocurrencies as part of “Operation Cryptosweep,” a campaign Assistant Commissioner Frank Borger-Gilligan called “the tip of the iceberg” when it comes to recent cryptocurrency industry regulation moves. 

“Not every initial coin offering or cryptocurrency-related investment is fraudulent, but we urge investors to approach any initial coin offering or cryptocurrency-related investment product with extreme caution,” Borger-Gilligan said.

In addition to the information campaign, NASAA members are conducting additional investigations into potentially fraudulent conduct. Many aggregation sites designed to attract investor interest have been examined, and “some were determined to warrant further investigation,” according to officials. 

Last month, officials organized a task force of over 40 member state and provincial securities regulators in the United States and Canada to begin coordinated investigations into initial coin offerings and cryptocurrencies.

While some investigations are ongoing, others have resulted in “enforcement actions.”

“Cryptocriminals need to know that we are committed to swiftly and effectively protecting investors from schemes and scams involving these products,” TDCI Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak said in a news release. 

 

 

 

 

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