Financial watchdog sounds alarm over 'digital' coins
The UK's financial watchdog has joined international peers in raising the alarm over initial coin offerings (ICOs).
A consumer warning issued by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) highlighted the risks involved with investing in companies in exchange for a digital "coin" or "token", adding that most ICOs are not currently regulated.
ICOs are being used in most cases as digital fundraising tools, allowing investors to exchange cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin for proprietary coins or tokens linked to a specific firm or project.
They can act like a share in a firm, drawing parallels with an initial public offering (IPO) on a public exchange, a prepayment voucher for future services or in some cases "offer no discernable value at all", the FCA warned.