UK regulator says ICO investors should be ‘prepared to lose your entire stake’

The UK’s markets regulator has added its voice to warning calls from across the world around the dangers of ICO investing.

ICOs, also known as token sales, have brought in an estimated $1.7 billion in crypto token investment for companies this year, but the boom has raised concern among financial regulators for the potential for scams, money laundering and other illicit activities.

“ICOs are very high-risk, speculative investment,” the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) — which oversees 56,000 financial services firms and markets in the UK — said in a statement published today. (Hat tip Business Insider.)

“You should be conscious of the risks involved and fully research the specific project if you are thinking about buying digital tokens. You should only invest in an ICO project if you are an experienced investor, confident in the quality of the ICO project itself and prepared to lose your entire stake,” it added.

China issued a ban on ICOs last week, while the SEC in the U.S. said some token sales may violate securities laws. Regulators in Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong are among those to have warned on potential securities violations, and more widely told citizens that they risk losing their investment if they get involved in token sales.