Business

Steve Kaaru

Bitpay clone site draws ire of Luxembourg regulator

Luxembourg’s financial services regulator has sounded the alarm against a fraudulent cryptocurrency clone website that claims to operate from the country. The Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) issued the warning Wednesday, indicating that the clone, Bit-Bay isn’t authorized in the country.

Bit-Bay Europe SA describes itself as a superior cryptocurrency trading platform which offers a fiat-to-crypto service. “The world’s smartest Bitcoin exchange service has landed in Europe,” the company’s website boldly claims. It then goes on to list fake facts such as having the highest trading volume in Japan and facilitating $1.2 million in trades in 2017.

The clone company claims to be based in 14 rue Erasme in Luxembourg City. However, according to the Luxembourg Times, the address belongs to the House of Entrepreneurship, which denied any association with the company.

The CSSF sought to warn the public that Bit-Bay Europe SA “is unknown to it and that it has not been granted any authorisation to provide payment services in or from Luxembourg.”

The company becomes the latest to be red-flagged by the CSSF. In August, the regulator warned the public against Cryptominingoptionsignal, a fraudulent company that claimed to be based in Luxembourg. The regulator made it clear that the entity was unknown to it, nor had it been granted any authorization to provide investment services or any other financial services in Luxembourg.

Despite the setbacks, the country has continued to explore blockchain solutions. Earlier this year, the country passed a bill into law that added legal protection for blockchain transactions. The law accorded the same legal guarantee to transactions recorded on the blockchain as those recorded by any other means.

The country’s Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna, who was behind the bill stated at the time, “The goal is to make sure that, if you do transactions using blockchain, you have legal certainty and the same legal strength as if you had done the same transaction without using blockchain, in a traditional manner.”

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