The provincial securities regulator in Ontario is warning the public and seeking contact from people about BitConnect. The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is the latest in a series of regulators to take exception to the company’s soliciting of investment opportunities.
OSC is asking Ontarians who have been contacted by BitConnect representatives to email or telephone the OSC Inquiries and Contact Centre. BitConnect is not registered in Ontario to do business that includes soliciting investment opportunities or providing advice on securities transactions.
BitConnect’s websites, bitconnect.co and bitconnectcoin.co, include pages on which the company claims to run an exchange called BCC Exchange. On these pages, BitConnect offers a variety of investment opportunities , including the mining, trading, and staking of BitConnectCoin, in violation of OSC regulations.
BitConnect has been in regulators’ sights previously. Within Canada, New Brunswick's Financial and Consumer Services Commission (FCNB) issued an investor alert on January 18, 2018, on the back of prior actions in the United States. Specifically, the FCNB warned against “giving in to the fear of missing out” in the midst of aggressive advertising, and to “do their research”.
Also in January, BitConnect ran into trouble with regulators in Texas. On January 4, the Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) issued an Emergency Cease and Desist Order against BitConnect. TSSB declared that BitConnect was offering a security without the proper registration. The state acted due to an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), that was slated for January 9.
Moreover, BitConnect’s UK operation under BitConnect Ltd., was dissolved on March 13, 2018. The action comes from a November 2017 announcement from the U.K.Registrar of Companies that the company had two months to disclose greater information about itself or face closure. BitConnect did not increase disclosure.