Germany’s federal financial supervisory authority (BaFin) today warned investors of the activities of 5 Capital, a Bulgarian broker that has been offering financial products in the country without authorization.
Echoing previous warnings, the independent financial regulator noted that 5 Capital offers German customers CFDs that allegedly give them exposure to cryptocurrency instruments.
Crypto firms operating in Germany have to apply for a license to the nation’s financial watchdog BaFin by the end of 2019 as the new Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations come into effect. Although derivatives referencing cryptoassets would not fall under this suggestion, they remain subject to ESMA’s current restriction and any future proposals by the BaFin regarding the sale of these instruments to retail investors.
The BaFin pointed out that the company is based out of Sofia, Bulgaria, while soliciting its clients using a website operated by its parent 21TEX.
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BaFin has also advised the public to always verify the company’s identity (identity details, country of establishment, etc.) and never to trust a company if it cannot be clearly identified.
BaFin Puts Crypto Under Spotlight
In its capacity to supervise the financial market and enforcing compliance with rules and regulations, BaFin issued a series of advisories in recent years, most recently when it announced specific details about its retail forex and CFDs trading stance. The watchdog was focusing on brokers that do not provide negative balance protection, exposing clients to unlimited losses.
In addition, BaFin has been wary of the booming cryptocurrency industry. The German watchdog has been adamant in its warnings toward investors, elaborating on the potential risks associated with investing in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Moreover, BaFin has also issued warnings over ICOs, informing the public of the high risk associated with various unrealistic technological claims and even scams.
The German watchdog encourages traders, or those considering online trading, to exercise caution, strongly advising against funding an account or investing via this specific company. Anyone who chooses to sign up with the impostor should bear in mind that they will not receive the financial authorities’ assistance should things go awry.