Hong Kong regulator blocks crypto websites over illegal token offerings and false claims
Amidst heightened surveillance, SFC obstructs HongKongDAO and BitCuped for regulatory infractions.
Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has restricted access to two cryptocurrency websites, according to a Dec. 6 notice.
In that post, the securities regulator said that it had taken steps to block access to the websites of HongKongDAO (also known as Hong Kong Digital Research Institute) and BitCuped. Despite the regulator’s actions, both websites were accessible outside of Hong Kong as of 8:00 p.m. UTC on Dec. 6.
The regulator added that it has issued cease and desist letters to the relevant website operators, demanding that each site halts offerings of the HKD token, a cryptocurrency whose offering has been considered illegal due to lack of necessary permissions
The SFC additionally described each company’s wrongdoings. In addition to highlighting HongKongDAO’s offering of the HKD token, the SFC said that HongKongDAO spread false and misleading information about itself. It noted that one article claimed that HongKongDAO applied for and obtained certain licenses and is currently bidding for another license supposedly related to stablecoin regulation. The regulator denied these claims.
Separately, BitCuped falsely claimed that two individuals act as executives of the company when neither has any actual relationship with it. Those executives are instead associated with the major Hong Kong stock exchange HKEX, which has acknowledged that BitCuped and other companies claim false ties to it.
Hong Kong cracking down on crypto fraud
Hong Kong has initiated high-profile actions against other crypto firms in recent months. The SFC notably began an inquiry into a crypto exchange called Hounax around Nov. 27. The regulator was criticized for providing a warning too late, as customers reportedly lost $15.4 million of crypto.
The SFC is also involved in an ongoing investigation of JPEX, which allegedly caused customers to lose about $200 million in crypto through its fraud. Though it does not appear that the case has been fully resolved, reports from Nov. 26 indicate that police have made 66 arrests related to JPEX to date.