Digital currency broker RaxTrade not licensed in Austria: watchdog

The Austrian financial services regulator has issued a public warning against a digital currency broker which it claims is not licensed to operate in the country.

In its latest warning, the Financial Markets Authority cautioned against RaxTrade, a company that facilitates trading in CFDs, shares, commodities, forex and digital currencies. The company, also known as ROI STOCK LIMITED, claims on its website that it charges 0% commission while offering over 125 assets to trade.

However, the FMA said RaxTrade is not authorized to offer its services in Austria. Exercising powers conferred by Austria’s Banking Act, the watchdog stated that the firm “is not entitled to carry out banking transactions in Austria that require a licence. The provider is therefore neither permitted to trade on a commercial basis on its own account or on behalf of others.”

RaxTrade claims to be based and licensed in Kingstown in the small island nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. In addition, it claims to follow the guidelines set by the U.K.’s Joint Money Laundering Steering Group, based on the Financial Action Task Force’s recommendations on combating money laundering in the finance industry.

The FMA’s latest warning follows up on a June announcement flagging off two unlicensed digital currency firms. One of them, PremiumBorsa, claims to offer a world-class trading experience on digital currencies and other top assets. The second was Pennyworth Investments, a firm that touted its platform as the easiest on the market for novice traders.

In the past, the watchdog has also cracked down on the block reward mining industry. The FMA ordered INVIA GmbH to cease its digital currency mining operations as it wasn’t licensed or supervised in Austria. According to the regulator, INVIA was operating an Alternative Investment Fund without the necessary licensing.

The FMA previously issued licenses to legitimate digital currency firms that it believes adhere to the set rules and guidelines. In 2019, it issued a Payment and Services Derivative 2 to Vienna-based Bitpanda. The license allowed the digital currency trading platform to serve the banking and fintech industries in the European Union.

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.