German regulator intervenes to halt cryptocurrency offering - source

BERLIN, Feb 19 (Reuters) - German financial markets regulator Bafin intervened for the first time in the cryptocurrency market by stopping a planned initial coin offering (ICO) late last year, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Bafin stopped an ICO worth 120 million euros ($135.89 million) planned by Munich-based automated algorithmic trading company RISE towards the end of 2018, the source said.

RISE did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment, made via the company’s website.

The move was first reported by the Handelsblatt daily, which said the intervention represented a paradigm shift by Bafin, which until then had only observed the cryptocurrency market.

Bafin declined to comment.

In November, France said cryptocurrencies could be issued in France as long as those backing them agree to be regulated and taxed.

Regulators have warned investors that current scant oversight of cryptocurrencies exposes them to the risks of fraud, hacking or theft. ($1 = 0.8831 euros) (Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Jan Harvey)