The European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) for securities (ESMA), banking (EBA), and insurance and pensions (EIOPA) jointly warned consumers that crypto-assets are highly risky and speculative. This warning comes in the context of growing consumer activity and interest in crypto-assets and the aggressive promotion of those assets and related products to the public, including through social media. The truth is that we currently experience a crypto scam tsunami attacking retail investors worldwide.

In their warning, the ESAs highlight that crypto assets are not suited for most retail consumers as an investment or as a means of payment or exchange. In particular, consumers:
  • face the very real possibility of losing all their invested money if they buy these assets;
  • should be alert to the risks of misleading advertisements, including via social media and influencers; and
  • should be particularly wary of promised fast or high returns, especially those that look too good to be true.
Consumers should be aware of the lack of investor protection schemes, as crypto-assets and related products and services typically fall outside existing protection under current EU financial services rules. In relation to the current situation in Ukraine, and with a view to ensuring the proper implementation of the sanctions in place, the ESAs welcome the clarification by the Council of the European Union of the scope of the restrictive measures against Russian and Belarusian entities and individuals as regards crypto-assets.

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