The Ontario Securities Commission has issued a warning against five unlicensed crypto companies involved in schemes to encourage investors to trade or invest in cryptocurrencies. The regulator started gathering information about these platforms after receiving complaints about them.
Warning to Investors
The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) published an Investor Alert on Friday, warning the public of five firms that “appear to be involved in schemes that target Ontario investors and encourage them to trade or invest in cryptocurrencies,” stating:
Btcreal, Bitserial, Hypercube Ventures LP, Cabincoin OÜ, and Baappay Inc. are not registered in Ontario to solicit investments or provide advice on investing in, buying or selling securities.
The Commission started gathering information on several crypto trading platforms last month after it received a number of complaints about them, CBC reported, adding that to date no platform has been recognized by the OSC as an exchange or exempted from recognition. Any platform that offers cryptocurrencies that fit the definition of securities “must determine whether it is a marketplace. Marketplaces are required to comply with the rules governing exchanges or alternative trading systems,” the news outlet elaborated.
Last month, the OSC issued an Investor Alert on Bitconnect, Bitconnect Coin and the BCC Exchange. “Bitconnect, the BCC Exchange and representatives of Bitconnect are not registered in Ontario to solicit investments or provide advice on investing in, buying or selling securities,” the regulator wrote.
The Five Unregistered Firms
The first firm mentioned in Friday’s warning is Btcreal. This company “claims to provide full investment services for cryptocurrency-related investments and forex,” promising investors “high returns in short periods of time,” the OSC described. The company’s website advertises “6 high ROI [Return On Investment] plans.”
The next company is Bitserial which “claims to offer opportunities to invest in BTE Tokens.” The firm also “encourages investors to participate in a lending program where they can exchange bitcoin, litecoin, or ethereum for BTE Tokens that are ‘lent out’ for high returns,” the Commission detailed.
The third company is Hypercube Ventures LP which manages multiple websites to encourage investors to buy “emission pools” in order to generate “VNN cryptocurrency,” according to the Commission.
The fourth is Cabincoin OÜ which “is currently advertising an unregistered token sale for Cabincoin Tokens,” claiming that “the future value of these tokens will far exceed their initial price,” the OSC wrote.
The last on the list is Baappay Inc. which “is a multi-layered platform that integrates both fiat and cryptocurrency payment services for merchants, that will confirm and guarantee all payments in seconds,” its website describes. The OSC says this company “is also currently advertising an unregistered token sale.”