BitWelt in hot water with German regulators over unauthorized services

BitWelt in hot water with German regulators over unauthorized services

The German financial regulator has launched an investigation into a company that offers digital currency, indices, and stock trading. BitcoinWelt has reportedly been offering its services to German clients despite not being authorized to operate in the European country, according to the regulator.

The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, better known as BaFin, announced recently that it was probing BitcoinWelt. 

In Germany, providers of banking or financial services require a permit under the German Banking Act, popularly known as Kreditwesengesetz or KWG. However, some companies have been operating without getting the permit, BaFin noted in its announcement. BitcoinWelt is one of those companies posing as a regulated entity but is without a license.

“The company is not supervised by BaFin. The content on their website bitcoinwelt.co justifies the assumption that the BitcoinWelt conducts banking and financial services in Germany without permission.”

BaFin, the State Criminal Police Office, and the Federal Criminal Police Office all cautioned investors against using such platforms and urged extreme caution while investing, especially on the Internet.

On its website, BitcoinWelt claims to offer digital currencies including BTC, Litecoin, IOTA, and XRP against the U.S. dollar, the euro, and the pound. It also offers commodities such as crude oil and gold; shares in companies such as JPMorgan, Apple, and Microsoft; and indices such as the S&P 500 and the Euro Stoxx 50.

BaFin has been tough on digital currency service providers and has been quick to call out those that are yet to comply with all the requirements. On the other hand, it has been progressive in its stance and has shown a willingness to work with companies that follow all guidelines.

Just recently, it approved the security token offering (STO) for game publisher Exordium known as EXOeu. Previously, German investors were barred from investing in the token, but can now do so on STOKR, a digital marketplace for alternative assets. 

Watch: CoinGeek Zurich panel, Blockchain Law & Policy

New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.

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