The United States Securities and Exchange Commission has announced a series of educational events targeting underrepresented communities and others — but suggested participants would be taught to “exercise caution” on crypto.
In an April 3 announcement, the SEC said it will reach out to groups including high school students, members of the military, older investors, and native Americans in an effort to promote financial literacy. However, the financial regulator suggested its approach at such events could include “how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud” using cryptocurrencies.
The SEC cited as one of its resources an alert from March 23, in which the regulator urged people to be “cautious” if considering investments in crypto projects which may qualify as securities under the regulator’s purview:
“The only money you should put at risk with any speculative investment is money you can afford to lose entirely.”
Investments in crypto asset securities can be exceptionally volatile & speculative, & the platforms where investors buy, sell, borrow/lend these securities may lack important protections for investors.
@SEC_Investor_Ed to investors: exercise caution w/ crypto asset securities.
— U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (@SECGov) March 23, 2023
U.S. government agencies have been promoting similar initiatives regarding financial literacy since 2003, when April was officially designated National Financial Capability Month. The announcement came amid many in and out of the crypto space criticizing the financial regulator for claiming that it wants firms to “come in and talk” while continuing to take enforcement actions.
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U.S.-based crypto exchange Coinbase revealed on March 22 that it had received a Wells notice from the SEC despite meeting with representatives “more than 30 times over nine months.” SEC chair Gary Gensler has also requested the regulator receive $2.4 billion in funding for the 2024 fiscal year, saying it needed “new tools, expertise, and resources” to address misconduct in the crypto space.
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