Digital currency sales face rocky path with more regulatory focus

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – A global regulatory crackdown on cryptocurrencies created by startups to finance new projects could slow the pace of virtual currency sales as questions mount about their transparency and the risk of scams for investors.

FILE PHOTO – A bitcoin logo is seen at a facility of the Youth and Sports Ministry in Caracas, Venezuela February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Marco Bello

More than 500 digital technology startups around the world have raised funds by selling their own cryptocurrencies, or tokens, that sidestep banks or venture capital firms as intermediaries.

The huge investment in the largely unregulated market, which began in 2009 with the launch of bitcoin and includes more than 1,200 tokens, has turned the financial world on its heels, especially as a stunning bitcoin rally in 2017 attracted speculators and stoked concerns about a bubble.

Regulators around the world, led by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, have responded with rules or guidelines…



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