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From trading at less than a dollar in its early years to over $60,000 by the end of 2021, the story of bitcoin’s meteoric rise has often been used by scammers as bait. inexperienced investors looking to make huge gains in the crypto space.

The promise of “the next big thing in crypto” has been used to peddle fake coins, make false claims, and scam people out of their money. Not to mention exchanges and initial coin offerings (ICOs), phishing attacks, and other cyber hackers used to steal people’s crypto assets.

At the more sophisticated end of the spectrum, even some of the biggest crypto companies in the world have been subject to high profile hacks, such as Coinbase and Binance losing hundreds of millions of dollars in crypto assets to cyberattacks. This year.

Related: Report: Binance Closes in Identifying People Behind Oct. 6 Hack

In the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has also seen an increase in reported crypto asset scams across the country.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request made by Capital Block reveals that between July 2021 and June 2022, the FCA received a total of 7,287 reports of crypto asset scams, 45% more than the ‘last year.

The increase in investment scams and cyber breaches over the past year and a half suggests that from retail investors to institutional players, the crypto industry suffers from a lack of security and awareness.

In a press release commenting on its findings, Capital Block CEO Tim Mangnall pointed to the lack of effective regulation as a significant part of the problem.

“The fact that global financial centers do not yet have effective crypto regulation is quite shocking. Crypto is here to stay and it should be consistently regulated internationally and treated like any other financial investment, like stocks and shares,” he said.

But while Mangnall may lament the lack of effective regulation, lawmakers have worked to improve the situation. In fact, 2022 may well be remembered as a turning point in efforts to regulate the global crypto industry.

Legislation such as the European Crypto Asset Markets Regulation (MiCA), for example, pays particular attention to consumer protection as part of EU efforts to create an inhospitable environment for crypto businesses. unregulated offshore.

In addition to making it harder for unscrupulous actors to gain access to retail investors in the first place, the regulations also clarify what is and is not criminal behavior.

Explicit rules will also be filled with warnings, double and triple checks designed to prevent those who are not well informed from making risky investments. And while platforms responsible for the crypto space implement the same controls, the practice is not universally observed.

Finally, there are strict rules on advertising investments that have not always been applied to crypto assets, which means that measures to protect consumers against misleading advertisements and to ensure that only approved companies are allowed to do advertising should be given priority.

The UK has taken a head start with its Financial Services and Markets Bill, which will require crypto asset service providers to obtain FCA clearance before they can legally advertise. .

Read more: UK crypto firms will need FCA approval to advertise

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