Belgium’s Watchdog Warns against Cryptocurrency Platforms

The warning comes as European finance ministers are scheduled to discuss cryptocurrency this week.

Belgium’s financial watchdog, the Financial Services and Markets Authority ‎‎(FSMA), said today that it continues to receive complaints from consumers who have invested in cryptocurrencies. The watchdog has therefore updated its warning list with multiple ‎cryptocurrency platforms that are offering investments in the country without ‎complying with Belgian financial legislation.‎

The investor alert represents the FSMA‎’s latest effort to police the rampant internet-based ‎cryptocurrency schemes which operate in its zone.

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European finance ministers are scheduled to discuss cryptocurrency this week to investigate benefits and risks, and consider how the new assets should be regulated. The Eurogroup meeting in Vienna on September 7 will discuss a fresh round of regulatory scrutiny on the cryptocurrency space.

Other European regulators have also been skeptical about ‎cryptocurrencies and see them as a threat to financial stability.‎ The UK FCA has recently warned against unregistered brokerage firms that appear to be offering cryptocurrency-related derivatives in the country.

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Based on its investigation, the FSMA said that schemes often include firms offering ‎investment contracts and requiring investors to deposit money, while promising little or no financial risk.

The FSMA said it has received numerous complaints from people who hear nothing from a company after investing their money.‎

To get the protections offered by securities laws when trading digital assets, investors should ‎use a platform or entity registered with the FSMA, the regulator said.

The latest additions are:‎

Based on this, the FSMA strongly advises against responding to any offers ‎of financial or recovery services made by the companies listed above and ‎against transferring money to any account number they might mention.‎

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