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France Warns of Several Unauthorized Cryptocurrency Platforms

June 20, 2018 |

France Warns of Several Unauthorized Cryptocurrency Platforms

France’s financial markets regulator has issued a new warning against unauthorized platforms offering cryptocurrency investments. The regulator has added four websites to its list of blacklisted domains offering crypto investments without authorization.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

French Regulator’s Warning

France Warns of Several Unauthorized Cryptocurrency PlatformsThe French financial markets regulator, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), on Monday warned “the public against several companies proposing atypical investments without being authorized to do so.”

The AMF is an independent public authority responsible for ensuring that savings invested in financial products are protected. According to Law no. 2016-1691 on transparency, no investment offer can be directly marketed in France without a registration number or prior approval by the AMF.

France Warns of Several Unauthorized Cryptocurrency PlatformsAlongside Monday’s warning, the regulator also published a list of four “new unauthorized websites offering atypical investments.” The four websites are bitoraxe.com, solutioncrypto.com, solution-crypto.com, and connect-coin.fr. At the time of this writing, connect-coin.fr is already offline. The other three are still live but solution-crypto.com redirects all traffic to solutioncrypto.com.

The AMF previously published a list of 15 websites offering crypto investments without authorization. The regulator maintains three lists of unauthorized websites – one for forex products, one for binary options, and one for other goods including diamonds, wines, and cryptocurrencies. The agency started keeping track of blacklisted sites in July last year and began including crypto sites in December.

AMF Concerned About Crypto

The AMF has been tracking losses in cryptocurrencies through its Epargne Info-services center, which receives investment complaints and claims. During the AMF’s annual report presentation last month, Chairman Robert Ophèle said:

During the first four months of the year, out of the more than 4,000 requests processed by our Epargne Info-services center, 700 concerned crypto-assets with nearly 250 claims or reports reporting more than € 9 million (~US$ 10.43 million) in losses.

He added that cryptocurrencies have taken over binary options and highly leveraged contracts for difference (CFDs) as the most pressing problem.

France is currently creating a legal framework for initial coin offerings (ICOs), which is expected to be finalized next year. The agency started clamping down on bitcoin derivatives in February. In April, the country slashed the tax rate on crypto capital gains from 45% to 19%.

What do you think of the AMF warning investors of these unauthorized platforms? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and AMF.


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The post France Warns of Several Unauthorized Cryptocurrency Platforms appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Regulator to face questions over unauthorized accounts in banking industry

June 13, 2018 |

The nation’s top bank regulator has found evidence that institutions other than Wells Fargo & Co. may have created accounts without customers’ authorization — and a prominent Democrat wants the regulator to name names.

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, the ranking Democrat on the Senate banking committee,…


L.A. Times – Business

Wells Fargo not the only bank to have created unauthorized accounts — but regulator won’t identify others

June 9, 2018 |

A federal bank regulator that has fined Wells Fargo more than $ 500 million over its creation of unauthorized accounts and other consumer abuses has found evidence of sales practice problems at other large and midsize banks — but is refusing to name those institutions.

The Office of the Comptroller…


L.A. Times – Business

Singapore Warns Eight Unauthorized Token Exchanges

May 25, 2018 |

Singapore Warns Eight Unauthorized Token Exchanges

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has warned eight digital token exchanges operating in the country over unauthorized securities trading. The regulator also stopped an initial coin offering, prompting its issuer to return all funds received from Singapore-based investors.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Eight Token Exchanges Warned

Singapore Warns Eight Unauthorized Token ExchangesSingapore’s central bank and financial regulator, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), announced on Thursday that it has “warned eight digital token exchanges in Singapore not to facilitate trading in digital tokens that are securities or futures contracts without MAS’ authorisation.” Without naming the eight platforms, the announcement states that under the Securities and Futures Act (SFA):

If the digital tokens constitute securities or futures contracts, the exchanges must immediately cease the trading of such digital tokens until they have been authorised as an approved exchange or recognised market operator by MAS

Singapore Warns Eight Unauthorized Token ExchangesHowever, MAS did not indicate that these platforms are engaged in suspicious activities or that there are complaints about them, unlike a few other regulators that recently issued warnings about exchange platforms.

This week, the Ontario Securities Commission issued a warning on five unlicensed crypto firms it had received complaints about. In March, French regulator Autorité des Marchés Financiers warned of 15 unauthorized crypto investment platforms and Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority started publishing a list of crypto platforms showing signs of fraud.

ICO Issuer Warned Amid Growing Market

In addition, MAS “also warned an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) issuer to stop the offering of its digital tokens in Singapore.” According to the announcement, MAS has assessed that this issuer’s “tokens represented equity ownership in a company and therefore would be considered as securities under the SFA.” Citing that the tokens are offered “without a MAS-registered prospectus, which is a SFA requirement,” the regulator revealed:

The [ICO] issuer has ceased the offer and has taken remedial actions to comply with MAS’ regulations. It has also returned all funds received from Singapore-based investors.

However, the central bank “declined to name the ICO and it is not clear how much was taken from investors or when the offering was issued,” the Strait Times reported on Thursday.

Singapore Warns Eight Unauthorized Token ExchangesRecently, news.Bitcoin.com reported that Singapore has emerged as a mecca for token sales, especially for companies from China and South Korea where ICOs are banned. Earlier this month, digital asset banknote manufacturer Tangem launched smart bitcoin banknotes at the Megafash Suntec City store in Singapore.

Lee Boon Ngiap, MAS’ Assistant Managing Director (Capital Markets), confirmed that “the number of digital token exchanges and digital token offerings in Singapore has been increasing.” He clarified:

We do not see a need to restrict them if they are bona fide businesses. But if any digital token exchange, issuer or intermediary breaches our securities laws, MAS will take firm action.

What do you think of MAS’ warnings? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Financial Tribune, and MAS.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Singapore Warns Eight Unauthorized Token Exchanges appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

England: Unauthorized Crypto Futures and ICOs are Criminal Offences

April 7, 2018 |

England: Unauthorized Crypto Futures, ICOs are Criminal Offences

In a statement released 6 April 2018, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of England attempted to clarify its jurisdiction in the ever-booming cryptocurrency industry. While acknowledging cryptos are “not currently” regulated by the bureau, crypto futures, contracts for difference (CFDs), options, and initial coin offerings (ICOs) do indeed fall under their purview. Furthermore, crypto firms running afoul of necessary FCA authorization are committing “a criminal offence.”

Also read: India Searches for Ethereum Over Bitcoin

England’s FCA Warns Crypto Firms About Unauthorized Trading

“We are aware of a growing number of UK firms offering so-called cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency-related assets,” the FCA statement on the requirement for firms offering cryptocurrency derivatives to be authorised began. “As indicated in our Feedback Statement on [distributed ledger technology], cryptocurrencies are not currently regulated by the FCA provided they are not part of other regulated products or services.”

“Cryptocurrency derivatives are, however, capable of being financial instruments,” the FCA continued, and “although we do not consider cryptocurrencies to be currencies or commodities for regulatory purposes, [firms] conducting regulated activities in cryptocurrency derivatives must […] comply with all applicable rules in the FCA’s Handbook and any relevant provisions in directly applicable European Union regulations.”

England: Unauthorized Crypto Futures, ICOs are Criminal OffencesRegulated “activities in relation to derivatives that reference either cryptocurrencies or tokens issued through an initial coin offering (ICO), will require authorisation by the FCA.” That would include three principal areas: “cryptocurrency futures – a derivative contract in which each party agrees to exchange cryptocurrency at a future date and at a price agreed by both parties; cryptocurrency contracts for differences (CFDs) – a cash-settled derivative contract in which the parties to the contract seek to secure a profit or avoid a loss by agreeing to exchange the difference in price between the value of the cryptocurrency CFD contract at its outset and at its termination; [and] cryptocurrency options – a contract which grants the beneficiary the right to acquire or dispose of cryptocurrencies. Firms unsure about their status are encouraged “to seek expert advice if you have any remaining questions.”

The FCA issued a previous warning regarding crypto CFDs. It was “aimed at retail investors who may be considering or soliciting cryptocurrency CFDs (contracts for difference). The U.K. regulator emphasized the risks associated with the price volatility, charges and funding costs, leveraged trading products, and price transparency,” News.Bitcoin.com reported back in November of last year.

England: Unauthorized Crypto Futures, ICOs are Criminal Offences

Times Have Changed

Just prior to that warning, however, the agency seemed to be championing crypto when it accused financial institutions of withholding financial services from distributed ledger technology (DLT) start-ups on a wholesale basis. Times have changed.

“It is firms’ responsibility,” the FCA concluded, “to ensure that they have the appropriate authorisation and permission to carry on regulated activity. If your firm is not authorised by the FCA and is offering products or services requiring authorisation it is a criminal offence.”

Is licensing a positive or negative step for crypto? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock. 


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The post England: Unauthorized Crypto Futures and ICOs are Criminal Offences appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Wells Fargo’s estimate for unauthorized accounts jumps 67%, to 3.5 million

August 31, 2017 |

Wells Fargo & Co. said Thursday it may have created as many as 3.5 million checking, savings and credit card accounts without customers’ authorization over the last eight years — a number that is similar to an estimate in a class-action case but one that far exceeds the bank’s initial accounting…


L.A. Times – Business

Wells Fargo says number of unauthorized accounts, legal expenses could rise

August 5, 2017 |

Wells Fargo & Co.’s troubles continue to mount, with a bevvy of new disclosures Friday: The bank may have created more unauthorized accounts than first thought, it is the subject of a new federal inquiry and it could face $ 1.3 billion more in legal costs than previously estimated.

In its latest…


L.A. Times – Business

Wells Fargo guarantees settlement will repay all customers hurt by unauthorized accounts

June 15, 2017 |

As part of a class-action settlement, Wells Fargo & Co. will guarantee that customers harmed by the bank’s practice of opening unauthorized accounts will get back any fees they paid and be fully compensated for damage done to their credit scores, according to documents filed early Wednesday.

That…


L.A. Times – Business

Wells Fargo may have created 3.5 million unauthorized accounts — 1.4 million more than estimated, attorneys say

May 12, 2017 |

Wells Fargo & Co. may have opened as many as 3.5 million unauthorized checking, savings and credit card accounts over the past 15 years, far more than the bank and federal regulators reported last year, according to a new court filing.

For months, the number of potentially unauthorized accounts…


L.A. Times – Business

Wells Fargo to pay $110 million to settle lawsuits over unauthorized accounts

March 28, 2017 |

Wells Fargo & Co. on Tuesday agreed to pay $ 110 million to settle class-action lawsuits related to the bank’s practice of opening accounts without customers’ authorization.

The settlement, if approved by a federal judge in San Francisco, would provide payouts to all Wells Fargo customers who say…


L.A. Times – Business