Hong Kong SFC warns users fraud for two platforms

In a recent development, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong has raised a red flag concerning suspected fraudulent activities associated with crypto entities Hong Kong Digital Research Institute and BitCuped.

The SFC said that the Hong Kong Police Force had taken action by blocking access to the BitCuped and Hong Kong Digital Research Institute platforms. The regulatory body raised concerns that users could fall victim to deceptive investment schemes promoted by these entities. The regulator also issued cease and desist letters to the operators of the websites to halt their activities immediately.

The SFC highlighted that HongKongDAO might be disseminating false and misleading information. The notice emphasised that the platform’s marketing and information could mislead individuals into thinking that its services were duly licensed and legitimate. 

The concern revolves around the promotion of the HKD token as an investment opportunity. The SFC pointed out that the claims made on BitCuped’s website regarding its leadership were misleading. The crypto platform asserted that ‘Laura Cha’ and ‘Nicolas Aguzin’ served as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, respectively, when neither of them had any affiliations with BitCuped.

False claims by the platforms

The SFC also clarified that Laura Cha and Nicolas Aguzin were executives associated with the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, which alleviates any connections to BitCuped. This cautionary move by the regulatory body aims to protect investors from potential scams and unauthorised investment activities that exploit misleading online narratives.

This development follows the SFC’s announcement in October outlining its intentions to update policies related to digital currency sales and requirements. Noting evolving market dynamics and industry feedback, the SFC mandated that exchanges operating within Hong Kong must possess a virtual asset service provider license starting from June 2024.

Those who fall victim can suffer substantial losses… Investors should stay vigilant and beware of fraud when making investment decisions.”

This regulatory framework seeks to enhance consumer protection and foster a more secure environment for cryptocurrency transactions within the region. As the crypto landscape continues to evolve, regulatory bodies globally are increasingly vigilant, emphasising the need for investors to exercise caution and conduct thorough due diligence before engaging with crypto platforms.

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