The Massachusetts Securities Division is ramping up its policing of companies based in the state that raise money from initial coin offerings.
Initial coin offerings are a means of raising capital by selling digital currency that can then be traded. The digital coins or tokens represent an interest in a company.
Secretary of State William F. Galvin said Friday that those issuing initial coin offerings are primarily tech companies offering a blockchain-supported technology. Blockchain is the technology behind bitcoin, which has seen its value increase from less than $1,000 at the start of this year to more than $17,000 on Friday.
Galvin said whether or not blockchain succeeds in revolutionizing the financial services industry, there’s no question that digital coins that can be offered and sold are securities which need to be either registered or exempt from registration in Massachusetts.
He also warned of scam artists hoping to take advantage of the bitcoin craze.