Business

Steve Kaaru

MeleCoin not registered to operate in Dubai, financial authority warns

Dubai’s financial watchdog has warned the public against a scam crypto project that claims to be based in the city. In an advisory seen by The Khaleej Times, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) revealed that the company is the clone of Melicoin, a firm that’s registered to operate in Dubai but in a different line of business.

MeleCoin claims to be involved in banking, investment and e-commerce on its website. It promises users an easy and seamless bridge from traditional finance to digital finance, claiming to rely on blockchain technology to achieve this. Additionally, the company claims to be targeting more than just the financial services industry including retail, e-commerce, tourism and more.

However, this is nothing but an elaborate scheme, the DFSA has revealed. For one, the company claims to be located in Lepery House in the Dubai International Financial Centre—a building that doesn’t exist.

More importantly, the DFSA hasn’t authorized the company to offer its services in Dubai. Part of the advisory stated, “The DFSA informs you that MeleCoin is not and has never been licensed or authorized by the DFSA; and/or incorporated or registered by the DIFC Registrar of Companies.”

The company is said to be a clone of Melicoin, a company that the DFSA has authorized to operate. However, other than the name, the two companies have nothing in common as Melicoin invests in oil and natural gas, agriculture and healthcare.

MeleCoin hoped to cash in on the rising popularity of crypto and blockchain technology in the United Arab Emirates. Already, the UAE has committed to moving at least half of its functions to the blockchain by 2021. And as CoinGeek reported, the UAE ranked top for most token sales this year, disrupting traditional powerhouses such as the U.S. and Japan.

MeleCoin also highlights the rising number of clone firms that seek to trick people by posing as the legitimate firms. The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been at the forefront in exposing such companies, issuing warnings to the public regularly about the latest scams.

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