Cryptocurrency uses a system of cryptography (encryption) to control the creation of digital money, to verify transactions and to help ensure the security of the system. To buy or sell cryptocurrencies you are assigned a “public key”, like an email address, that you can share with others and a “private key”, like a password, that you can use to acquire or send cryptocurrency from your public key. Records of cryptocurrency transactions are distributed across computer systems, called the “blockchain” which is a type of public ledger.
Cryptocurrency “miners” solve complex math problems to verify transactions ensuring they are not false and to record transactions in the blockchain. Miners receive newly-issued cryptocurrency as payment.
It’s important to know the risks if you choose to use or invest in cryptocurrency. Do your due diligence and know what you’re dealing with. Be sure to contact a professional advisor who can help you with any questions you may have. If you don’t fully understand the risks - don’t get involved.
Cryptocurrency prices rise and fall dramatically often driven by media hype and public interest.
Cryptocurrencies are not backed by a bank or authority like Canadian currency is. Additionally, cryptocurrency may not be subject to securities regulation which means you may have little recourse in a dispute and may be vulnerable to your investment’s value being manipulated.
Cryptocurrency trading platforms and exchanges are susceptible to cybersecurity threats and hacking.
Cryptocurrencies are by their nature, complex and difficult to understand. It can be confusing and time-consuming to trade or withdraw cryptocurrency, often requiring several intermediaries. It is also hard to make informed decisions without financial statements and traditional assessment criteria to rely on.
Certain fees are associated with trading cryptocurrency. Make sure you understand what it will cost you to trade. These costs have the potential to erode profits.
If you want to start a trading platform involving cryptocurrencies or issuing new cryptocurrencies called “mining” please contact the Securities Division at 306-787-5645 to discuss your project and to find out if it falls under securities legislation.
Fraudsters create fake websites and use advertisements, recommendations and private messages to convince investors that they should part with their money to achieve big returns.
Here are a few common methods that fraudsters use:
As cryptocurrency is very complicated, investors may find themselves in a situation where they are not sure about an investment opportunity, here are a few warning signs of fraudulent investments:
Here are some steps investors can take to protect themselves:
If you have discovered a fraudulent investment opportunity, you can report the scam to the FCAA Securities Division at firstname.lastname@example.org or 306-787-5936.
For more information, watch these cryptocurrency videos from the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA):
For more information, view this cryptocurrency infographic from the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA):