Maryland has entered the early stages of what it’s calling “Operation Crypto Sweep,” a process designed to bring down some of the country’s most illicit cryptocurrency-based projects, many of which range from fraudulent initial coin offerings (ICOs) to phony investment products. Thus far, the operation has been successful in targeting as many as 35 different platforms.
Maryland Has Become a State of Crypto Police
Crypto scams are running rampant within the space. Many are looking to take advantage of those who don’t know any better or have little knowledge of the crypto space by enticing them with the prospects of what can still be considered a brand new and relatively untapped market.
States like Texas, for example, have become a hot spot for fraudulent investment systems, many of which have been issued cease-and-desist letters from the Texas attorney general. Several of these companies offer ridiculously high returns, which ultimately raise red flags with state regulators.
Such is the case with a recent bitcoin trading platform in Maryland targeted by the state’s present operation. The company was telling its investors that they could garner quick returns of 150 percent or more through “passive investments” within the cryptocurrency market. Attorney General Brian E. Frosh says that the number of illicit players attracted to the scene have largely been brought on by bitcoin’s surging value as of late and the entry of Facebook to the crypto space.
In a statement, he explains:
Cryptocurrency investments are risky. Investors should be extra cautious when dealing with promoters who claim that their offering does not have to be registered with securities regulators. Quick returns of 150 percent are as rare as Bigfoot. Make sure to do independent research on the product before you invest. Be aware of the risks and contact the Maryland Securities Division with any concerns before parting with your hard-earned money.
The Maryland Securities Division, in turn, has prepared a short video for people to educate themselves regarding the risks and dangers that come with cryptocurrencies. The video warns of assets’ volatility, saying that price swings are quite common among many forms of crypto and that investors should only invest funds that won’t make a different in their overall wealth or well-being.
Some Things to Be Concerned About…
In addition, the video also warns that many cryptocurrency transactions are allegedly untraceable and that there is little regulatory presence in the crypto space, meaning any funds that are stolen or subjected to fraud may disappear for good if investors aren’t careful.
Another company making a crypto-related video is the BBC, a British media company. The video, at six minutes long, is designed to help non-English speakers better understand crypto investments and to provide basic crypto terminology. It also serves as an introduction to bitcoin and Libra.