Securities commission issues warning about cryptocurrency trading platform

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© Dan Kitwood/Getty Images In a news release on Tuesday, the commission said is not registered to trade in securities or derivatives in Nova Scotia.

The Nova Scotia Securities Commission is warning Nova Scotians looking to invest with cryptocurrency about claims made by CoinRise, a crypto trading platform.

In a news release Tuesday, the commission said is not registered “to engage in the business of trading in securities or derivatives in Nova Scotia.”

It is illegal to solicit investments in the province without first registering with the commission.

CoinRise claims on its website to be one Canada’s fastest growing crypto trading platform and says it offers wealth management and investment banking services. 

The commission said at least one person from Nova Scotia has invested with CoinRise. It said the investor’s account on the platform showed profitable gains on their principal investment, however, when the investor tried to withdraw their funds, they were able to withdraw only a small amount. Subsequent withdrawal requests were ignored.  

In December, Saskatchewan’s consumer affairs authority issued a warning about CoinRise, which claimed at the time to be based in Regina.

After that alert was issued, CoinRise changed its location on its website from Regina to Founders Square at 1701 Hollis St. in Halifax. Founders Square does not list CoinRise as a tenant on its website. 

No one from CoinRise initially responded to CBC’s emails and live chat request for comment Tuesday.

Two of the email addresses bounced back and couldn’t be delivered. The phone number for CoinRise spokesperson Don Lehman, which had a Kitchener, Ont., area code, was disconnected.

“The internet can be a dangerous place to shop for investments but can also be a valuable tool for avoiding financial loss. A simple online search can reveal alerts and warnings, complaints, reviews and other useful information to help investors make informed investment decisions,” said Stephanie Atkinson, director of enforcement for the Nova Scotia Securities Commission, in the news release.

Nova Scotians can search for a person or company’s registration on the Nova Scotia Securities Commission website.