Global securities regulators, IOSCO, are targeting crypto advice distributed via social media and trading apps that resemble mobile games, claiming to be in response to an increase in online scams following the COVID-19 outbreak. In a study released Monday after a two-month consultation with members, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) said regulators need stricter measures to cope with a new cohort of younger, non-professional investors.
The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) is an international policy forum for securities regulators whose members, including the Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States and the Financial Conduct Authority of the United Kingdom, regulate more than 95 percent of the world’s securities markets across 130 jurisdictions. Ashley Alder, the Hong Kong regulator who chairs IOSCO’s board, said in a statement Monday that “innovative technology and social media are altering critical parts of retail investment.”
The group’s report on Monday makes it clear that crypto trading is at the top of its list of dangerous, frequently unregulated activities. According to the IOSCO report, which listed a number of financial practices that regulators have long considered abusive, “trading on crypto-asset trading platforms frequently occurs without investor and market protections against fraud, manipulation, insider trading, and frontrunning, among other things.” This level of regulatory scrutiny is nothing new. Recently, countries such as the European Union and India have imposed restrictions and warnings on potential investors, and US President Joe Biden recently asked government agencies to collaborate to better protect crypto customers and maintain financial stability.
On the other hand, the IOSCO is concerned that this is insufficient because would-be crypto buyers may be able to circumvent national regulations by visiting websites headquartered in other countries. Many people are also seeking guidance from online acquaintances on forums like Reddit, rather than from professional mediators, which the authorities have frowned upon.
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