Austrian regulator identifies 4 unlicensed digital currency firms

Financial regulators in Austria have flagged four unlicensed digital currency firms, in the latest warning to consumers in the sector.

The Financial Market Authority, which oversees regulation of the digital currency and wider financial services industry, flagged four firms—PremiumBorsa, Pennyworth Investments, GCG 24 and ANB Bank—as unlicensed operators.

Both PremiumBorsa and Pennyworth specialize in digital currency trading services, which GCG 24 is involved in forex. ANB Bank is a loans company offering a range of products to suit individual and business credit needs.

They join the regulator’s ever-growing list of blacklisted firms, companies the FMA officially warns others in the sector to avoid. It comes at a time of increasing pressure from regulators worldwide on their digital currency sectors, in a bid to clean up the market.

According to the regulator, none of the four firms currently holds an appropriate license to trade in Austria.

“…the Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) may inform the general public that a particular named natural or legal entity is not authorized to carry out certain investment services transactions (Article 3 para. 2 nos. 1 to 4 WAG 2018) or banking transactions (Article 1 para. 1 BWG), provided that the said person has given cause for such action and informing the general public is deemed necessary and reasonable with regard to possible disadvantages of the person concerned.”

The new additions follow three firms that were added to the blacklist earlier this month, with the FMA committing to “remain vigilant” to other suspicious operators.

None of the entities added to the list in recent weeks hold sufficient license coverage to operate in the sector, which carries the risk of penalties of up to €200,000.

In the warning note, the regulator said individuals and businesses should steer clear of firms that haven’t yet obtained a license from the FMA.

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