California’s Department of Justice is receiving complaints about criminal activity in the digital asset market, according to the state’s top lawyer, who didn’t say how many complaints were filed.
In an interview with Bloomberg News, Attorney General Rob Bonta said fraud and illicit activities in the cryptocurrency space is “an area of concern” for his office.
“We want to make sure that consumers aren’t being cheated hurt or harmed, and that there are the right protections in place,” Bonta said in a video conference meeting. “We see a role for the California Department of Justice to provide those protections when necessary.”
When asked about his thoughts on the metaverse, the attorney general said he’s a “cautious skeptic,” and is learning about the dimensions of the space.
The metaverse is envisioned by tech and gaming companies as an immersive version of the internet, where everyone will be able to interact, play games or complete tasks as a digital avatar, usually while wearing virtual or augmented reality goggles.
Technology companies have begun talking about the metaverse incessantly — notably, Facebook changed its corporate name to Meta Platforms Inc. — but the reality is that the metaverse they describe doesn’t yet exist, nor is it likely to be owned by any one company.
The term web3 is the preferred nomenclature of venture capitalists who invest in online services that are built using blockchain technology, where control isn’t concentrated in a single business entity. It’s a catchall for cryptocurrency startups, decentralized finance, NFT marketplaces and the like.
“I have incredible trust and faith in the imagination and innovation of some of our tech leaders and innovators,” Bonta said. However, he added, ensuring those players follow the law is a part of his job.
The attorney general said he couldn’t comment on any specific pending or potential investigations, or the possibility of any seizures of digital assets.
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