OSC launches new cryptoasset educational initiatives for Financial Literacy Month

For Immediate Release OSC

TORONTO - The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) today launched two cryptoasset educational initiatives as part of its activities for Financial Literacy Month.

GetSmarterAboutCrypto.ca provides investors with an overview of cryptoasset products and services, the OSC’s role in regulating them, and tips for exercising due diligence before considering this type of investment. TBACoin.ca mimics what a typical fraudulent initial coin offering (ICO) website may look like to help those interested in this type of capital raising tool identify potential red flags.

“At the OSC we’re committed to fostering innovation in the financial sector while at the same time helping protect investors from potential fraud and ensuring they consider both the opportunities and risks when buying cryptoassets,” said Tyler Fleming, Director of the Investor Office at the OSC. “These initiatives help investors better understand cryptoasset products and services as well as be on the alert for any potential red flags before making a purchase.”

The widespread promotion and growth of the ICO market, coupled with relatively low understanding of cryptoassets among the general public, provides fertile ground for fraudsters to take advantage of Main Street investors.

Research published by the OSC in June 2018 found that five per cent of Ontario adults, translating to about 500,000 Ontarians, own cryptoassets, with half of this group spending $1,000 or more on purchasing these products. Men aged 18-34 were three times more likely to report owning cryptoassets than Ontario adults overall. These research results illustrate Ontarians’ significant interest in blockchain technology and innovative means of raising capital.

In addition to GetSmarterAboutCrypto.ca, the OSC has many articles, calculators and other tools for investors on its award-winning consumer website GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca

The OSC recognizes blockchain technology’s potential for Ontario businesses and making markets more transparent and efficient. Among its initiatives, the OSC is working to encourage innovation through OSC LaunchPad, which engages financial technology companies to help them navigate legal requirements and strives to keep regulation in step with digital innovation.

The mandate of the OSC is to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices, to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in the capital markets, and to contribute to the stability of the financial system and the reduction of systemic risk.  Investors are urged to check the registration of any persons or company offering an investment opportunity and to review the OSC investor materials available at www.osc.ca



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