NPR

Amid Bitcoin Frenzy, SEC Warns Against Risky Cryptocurrency Products

The Securities and Exchange Commission is worried about the rise of new ways to invest in digital currencies like bitcoin. Regulators warn of potential "fraud and manipulation" in proposed funds.

If you're tempted to join the cryptocurrency bandwagon, regulators say you should take a pause before you click "buy."

Following bitcoin's meteoric price rise in 2017 — from just under $1,000 in January to nearly $20,000 in December — there's been a rush to cash in on cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology that makes them possible.

Numerous investment vehicles have been created to meet this surge in consumer demand.

In December, bitcoin futures began trading on. Even Venezuela is making moves into digital money, with President Nicolas Maduro announcing the development of a backed by the country's oil and gas reserves.

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