security exchange commission

US securities regulator adds more digital currency firms to ‘PAUSE’ list

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) latest consumer protection-focused publication has warned the public about several firms that it does not recognize as registered entities. 

First curated in 2007, the list is called “Public Alerts: Unregistered Soliciting Entities” or “PAUSE” list and is updated from time to time. The list informs the public of entities that use misleading information to solicit “primarily non-US. investors.”

In a press release, Jose Rodriguez, the deputy chief of the SEC’s Office of Market Intelligence, commented that the regulator issued more frequent updates to the list to help consumers better inform themselves and avoid falling victim to fraud

“With [the] publication of the PAUSE list, the Commission continues to take action to protect retail investors. We are issuing an increasing number of alerts to provide valuable information and aid investors in making informed investment decisions,” Rodriguez said. 

Digital currency firms dominate the list update 

The latest additions to the list include 58 “soliciting entities,” 11 “impersonators of genuine firms or spoofers” and one fake regulator. Among this number, several digital currency firms feature prominently on the list.

The 58 soliciting agencies include names such as 247 Crypto Trade, Crypto-TradingHub, Elite Crypto Mines Inc, Crypto Index Options, and Bitpayfxpro, to mention a few. All the firms are not registered with the SEC as required by U.S. securities laws. 

The firms on the list also appear bogus to a large extent. A case in point is Crypto-trading Hub which describes itself as “the world’s leading Bitcoin investment platform.” It claims to have over 11,000 clients that it trades for using artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

Regardless, addition to the list does not signify that the SEC has made a judgment about the offering being made by the firms. The last update to the list made in December also featured several purported bogus digital asset firms. Names such as Superfxtrading and SuperBinance have previously made it to the list. 

Notably, the SEC considers even legitimate digital currency firms to be fraught with risk.

Watch: SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce on Bitcoin Association’s Blockchain Policy Matters

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