Fraudulent cryptocurrency brokers who promise to offer related investment or trading products are on the rise in Switzerland, and the country’s watchdog is putting investors on alert. FINMA, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, today named Crypto Capitals as one of the companies that are suspected of conducting unauthorized activities in the country’s financial markets.
According to the FINMA, Crypto Capitals doesn’t have a license to provide its services. The firm works through the website www.cryptocapitals.org, where it claims to be completely valid and registered, which is not the case.
The website further indicates that services available on Crypto Capitals include contract for difference (CFDs) trading on a variety of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, XRP, Dash, Ethereum and Litecoin. Further, the company lists other professional services such as financial planning, audit report, tax planning and commercial finances.
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The crypto-friendly face of FINMA
The notice comes as a continuation of the FINMA’s efforts to caution the public regarding trading in cryptocurrency-related derivatives, as such activities fall under the jurisdiction of the agency.
The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority is currently pursuing as many as twelve other cases amidst an uptick of fraud in the country. However, Swiss authorities were eager to maintain a leading role for Switzerland in the cryptocurrency space while playing catch-up in its rapidly changing landscape.
Earlier last year, FINMA has issued the country’s first asset management license to a cryptocurrency investment fund, allowing Zug-headquartered company Crypto Fund to offer services to institutional clients. Also in December, FX firm Dukascopy has become the first Swiss bank to win approval for an ICO by Switzerland’s financial market supervisor.
Several other competitors have also been queuing up at the regulator’s door to get approval to offer their services in the country. Under FINMA’s new regulations, crypto-asset companies can now apply for licenses to handle as much as 100 million Swiss francs ($100 million) in public deposits.