Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has blacklisted two crypto websites accused of scamming investors and lying about executives, following criticism that the agency reacted too slowly to the recent JPEX scandal.
According to SFC director of enforcement Cheng Tak-ka, both BitCuped and HongKongDAO were placed on an alert list on November 10 and 24 respectively. As reported by the South China Morning Post, both crypto sites attempted to attract investors with misleading claims.
The SFC says it was tipped off by an anonymous source that HongKongDAO falsely claimed to have applied for the relevant operating licenses. It also led investors to believe its native token had a high market value.
HongKongDAO sold HKD through two group chats, one for 10,000 Chinese-speaking members and another that served 1,700 in English.
According to the SFC enforcement director, “Once you press the ‘buy’ button on the website, it will divert people to [BitCuped] for payment” — a site claiming to provide virtual assets and stock trading.
BitCuped is accused of falsifying its CEO and chairman. The firm lists two individuals who reportedly have no affilitation to the crypto site, and instead serve as the CEO and chairman of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX).
The Hong Kong watchdog didn’t say how many investors have been affected, nor the amount of money lost to the alleged crypto scams.
As noted by the SCMP, the SFC was recently accused of reacting too slowly to the JPEX scam — Hong Kong’s largest case of financial fraud to date. In total, the scandal reportedly affected 2,600 victims and caused more than HK$1.61 billion in losses.