Crypto Assets

You should know that those who are offering crypto asset investments or services may not be in compliance with applicable law, including federal securities laws.  These investments also can be speculative, risky, and volatile.  If you are considering an investment opportunity involving crypto assets, you may be wondering if it is legal, if it is right for you, or even whether it might be a scam.  We urge you to be cautious in considering whether crypto asset investments are appropriate for you.

There currently are two types of exchange-traded products (ETPs) trading on national securities exchanges that are focused on providing exposure to the price of bitcoin. One major difference between these two types of ETPs is how they provide exposure to the price of bitcoin: 
  • Bitcoin Futures ETPs, provide exposure to the price of bitcoin by holding futures contracts based on bitcoin, and
  • Spot Bitcoin ETPs, provide exposure to the price of bitcoin by holding bitcoin itself.
For more information about exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds that provide exposure to the bitcoin futures market, please read Funds Trading in Bitcoin Futures – Investor Bulletin.    For more information about ETPs that provide exposure to the spot bitcoin market, please refer to the Commission’s Order.

Here are some resources to help you better understand these complex topics:

Crypto Landing 1

Exercise Caution with Crypto Asset Securities: Investor Alert

Protect yourself and exercise caution with crypto asset securities. Read this Investor Alert to learn more.

Crypto Landing 2

Celebrity Endorsements
 

Be cautious with celebrity endorsements of investment products.  Watch this video to learn more.

Crypto Landing 3

SEC Crypto Assets and Cyber Enforcement Actions

Learn about actions involving crypto assets that the SEC’s Division of Enforcement has brought.

 

Understand Your Investments

Many so-called “pig butchering” scams involve crypto assets.

“Pig butchering” scams are where a fraudster gradually builds trust with victims (similar to how pigs are fattened up before slaughter), convinces victims to “invest” their money, and then steals the victims’ money.

Fraudsters may initiate contact with potential victims on social media platforms -- including professional networking, dating, and messaging websites/apps -- or through unsolicited text messages.  The fraudster may pretend to be an old friend or claim to have contacted the victim accidentally.  The fraudster then initiates a friendship or romantic relationship with the victim to gain their trust, and convinces them to invest their money before disappearing with the funds.

Learn more about pig butchering scams and how to avoid them:

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