Malta’s financial watchdog has issued a warning to investors after it uncovered a cryptocurrency trading platform falsely claiming to be licensed in the jurisdiction, the latest BTC scam of its kind to target unsuspecting investors.
The platform, called Primetradingbot, claimed to offer high-yield BTC investments, and appeared to be targeting unsophisticated investors who still believe the BTC coin has a future. According to the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), the scheme has a “dubious nature with a high risk of loss of money,” as it urged investors to stick to those firms genuinely licensed by the MFSA.
The MFSA warned investors to be cautious, saying that “although this entity purports to operate from an address in Malta, the MFSA does not believe this to be the case.”
On its website, the regulator said, “The MFSA wishes to alert the public, in Malta and abroad, that Primetradingbot is not licenced or otherwise authorised by the MFSA to provide any investment or other financial services which are required to be licenced or otherwise authorised under Maltese law.”
The much-coveted Maltese licensing scheme requires all practitioners working with crypto companies to complete “continuous professional education,” and to sit an exam in order to practice within the crypto sector.
Falsely claiming authorisation from the regulator therefore implies a level of competence, as well as compliance—neither of which Primetradingbot is qualified to represent to its customers.
Furthermore, the MFSA said that by misrepresenting its licensing status, Primetradingbot was breaking the law, as well as undermining any trust in its other claims.
The warning is the latest concerning BTC scams of this type, which have been increasing in number in recent months. Despite the significant and ongoing downturn in BTC prices, fraudsters are still relying on BTC scams to take advantage of their victims.
Regarded as one of the more forward-thinking jurisdictions for crypto regulation, Malta has been dubbed “Blockchain Island,” with an increasing number of firms choosing to legitimately set up shop in the country.
A full list of crypto businesses licensed in Malta is available from MFSA, with the regulator urging investors and businesses to check before dealing with any firms claiming to be licensed by the authority.
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