Italy shuts down two crypto sites

The Italian market securities market regulator has shut down eight websites in an ongoing clampdown. The CONSOB shut down the sites claiming that they offer services it considers illegal in the country. They include forex, CFDs and cryptocurrency trading sites.

The Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB) has been on a rampant crackdown on sites it accuses of offering illegal services. As reported by Finance Magnates, the regulator has clamped down on at least 150 sites in the past few months.

In its latest crackdown, the securities regulator has contacted Italy’s internet service providers, requesting them to block access to eight sites it believes haven’t adhered to the requisite standards. Most of the sites targeted are in the forex and CFDs trading sector. They include Trade Com Limited (trading under fxonspot.com) and Waltika Partners Ltd (trading under alliance-capital.cc). Others are MarketsFX, GotechFX and Honest Capital Ltd.

The crypto industry wasn’t spared either. The CONSOB also ordered the closure of CryptoBase (which operates under cryptobase.life). CryptoBase offers brokerage services for several commodities, among them cryptos, indices, commodities and currencies. The company is based in Switzerland.

The crackdown on the Swiss company follows the amendment for the process CONSOB uses to identify non-compliance in the Italian securities industry. CONSOB acquired the powers to order ISPs in Italy to block sites in July last year, and since then, it has utilized it fully.

In December last year, it ordered the closure of Hoch Capital Ltd., a Limassol, Cyprus-based forex and CFDs broker. This was the first time the regulator had ordered a firm to desist from offering its services to Italian traders. Hoch is regulated by the Cyprian securities regulator, CySEC. However, CONSOB said at the time that the firm had continued to break the market regulations set by CySEC despite warnings.

The CONSOB joins other European regulators that have continued to be stringent on crypto service providers. They include the U.K’s Financial Conduct Authority, which has been a leader in crypto regulation and oversight. As CoinGeek reported, the FCA recently acquired greater oversight over the crypto industry and is now in charge of AML and KYC compliance. The extra responsibilities have seen the FCA seek a crypto and blockchain expert for a 12-month stint in its Enforcement and Markets Oversights division.

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.