Maltese regulator warns against 2 unlicensed digital currency firms

The Maltese financial industry regulator has issued public warnings against two companies it says have been offering digital currency services without authorization. It cautioned investors against using the platforms, describing one of them as “a scheme of dubious nature.”

The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) published the first warning to caution the public against investing in Comino Crypto Fund. The company claims to offer a platform on which investors can trade “ordinary stock shares, ETFs and other financial instruments.” It further claims to be based in Malta, and regulated by the MFSA under the MiFID directive.

In its warning, however, the MFSA stated, “Comino Crypto Fund LLC is NOT a Maltese registered Company NOR licensed or otherwise authorised by the MFSA to provide any financial services.”

The regulator said it received information that the company is likely to be “a scheme of dubious nature with a high risk of loss of money.” It warned the public against engaging in any business with the firm.

On its website, Comino described its platform as the most secure way to invest in digital currencies. Its BTC fund is allegedly the first of its kind, launched in 2015, and is the most profitable hedge fund in history, having made 700,000% in gains. 

Comino claimed to have received praise from personalities, including Jon Matonis—a claim Matonis has refuted.

In a statement to CoinGeek, Matonis said Comino “placed a fraudulent and misleading quotation” lifted from his previous work at Exante on its web page. 

The MFSA also published a warning against Ivaja Limited. Unlike with Comino Crypto Fund, Ivaja is a licensed Maltese firm. However, the regulator said Ivaja has been dealing in digital currencies illegally.

It stated, “Although Ivaja Ltd is a company registered with the Malta Business Registry, it is NOT licensed or otherwise authorised by the Malta Financial Services Authority to provide the services of a cryptocurrency and exchange platform or any other financial and virtual financial services.”

MFSA has continued to police the digital currencies industry keenly, calling out all the scammers and unauthorized firms. Recently, it warned against Crypto Foxtrades and COINMALEX. The two claimed to be based and licensed to operate in the country, but the regulator revealed they were lying.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article indicated that Comino cited leading personalities who have allegedly praised it, including Jon Matonis. This article has been updated. 

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