Cyprus adds 6 digital currency firms to blacklist

The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) has issued a warning against six firms it believes have been operating illegally. The platforms offer foreign exchange and digital currency trading.

In its warning, CySEC claimed that the firms “do not belong to an entity which has been granted an authorization for the provision of investment services and/or the performance of investment activities.”

The blacklisted firms include procloudoptions.online, a platform that claims to offer 100% return on investment in 60 seconds. On its website, it claims to be based in New York and regulated by the CFTC, the IFSC in Belize and CySEC.

Yet another company on the CySEC blacklist, 247firstinvest.com, also claims to be based in Cyprus and regulated by CySEC. The firm offers trading in stocks, ETFs, options, mutual funds and more, according to the regulator.

The other companies on the CySEC blacklist are fxgrowcapital.com, meritkapital.net, cryptotradecentr.com and fxg.market.

CySEC has been updating its blacklist regularly, informing the public about any financial services provider who is not authorized to operate in Cyprus. In May, the regulator listed 11 firms that were operating illegally, with a majority of them offering digital currency products. Among the listed firms was Binance Capital Options, a firm that relied on its similarity with Binance exchange to lure clients. It allowed its users to trade CFDs on digital currencies, metals, stocks and indices.

Despite the regulator’s diligent efforts to stamp out scammers in the digital currency space, it has been unable to fully crack down on the companies as most are foreign-based. Once CySEC stamps them out, the scammers just switch their domains and brand.

CySEC isn’t the only regulator that’s clamping down on unregistered digital currency service providers. In Austria, the Financial Markets Authority recently flagged four unlicensed firms dealing in digital currencies and personal finance. The French regulator also blacklisted 11 firms in July that have been soliciting investment from investors both in fiat and digital currencies. Still in Europe, the Maltese regulator also issued a warning against two firms it claims have been operating illegally.

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