In October 2017, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) published an announcement to draw the attention of investors on the possible risks related to buying, holding, exchanging or trading in virtual currencies.
As per the Virtual Currency Scheme of the European Central Bank, a virtual currency can be defined as a type of unregulated, digital money, which is issued and usually controlled by its developers, and used and accepted among the members of a specific virtual community.
The announcement of CySEC warns that trading in virtual currencies is not appropriate for all investors, due to the high complexity of these products. Investors should be cautious and fully conversant with the characteristics and risks connected to the venues on which such virtual currencies may be traded on.
Furthermore CySEC listed the following practices and signs as high risk in order to warn investors:
- “Guaranteed” high investment returns, minimum or no risk;
- Offers that don’t provide full analysis of the risks involved;
- Direct or indirect pressure or promises to investors to trade in such products.
It is noteworthy that there are no specific EU regulatory guidelines to protect existing and/or potential investors who trade in the said products however the dealing in such currencies may trigger provisions of other pieces of legislation.
Trading in virtual currencies may hold high risks of losing any invested capital. The trading values of virtual currencies can widely fluctuate or become temporarily or permanently unavailable, therefore investors should trade carefully and only with resources that they can afford to lose.
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