Maltese Firm Promotes Crypto Services without Proper License

The MFSA called out the exchanges, Comino Crypto Fund LLC and Ivaja Ltd, in twin warnings on Wednesday.

The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), the watchdog responsible for the oversight of the investment sector in the Mediterranean island, today issued a warning against two cryptocurrency firms operating without a license and permit.

The MFSA called out the exchanges, Comino Crypto Fund LLC and Ivaja Ltd, in twin warnings on Wednesday.

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Comino Crypto Fund claims that they have licenses to operate and are they regulated in the country. The nation’s watchdog, however, dismissed issuing a valid permit for the crypto fund. Further, it described Comino as likely a scheme of dubious nature with a high risk of loss of money.

According to its website, the Bitcoin Fund claims to be the most profitable hedge fund in history, citing Bloomberg estimates for another startup. Since its alleged inception in 2015, the fund claims to have posted a record overall profit of 70,000%, a clear red flag for yet another crypto scam.

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Malta warns against Binance

In a separate warning, the MFSA alerted the public that although Ivaja Ltd is a company registered with the Malta Business Registry, it is not licensed to provide cryptocurrency services. It further elaborated that to offer a cryptocurrency exchange or other financial and virtual asset services Ivaja was mandated to obtain proper licenses and authorization from the government.

The Maltese financial watchdog further emphasized that operating a crypto-related business in the country requires an MFSA license under the Virtual Financial Assets Act of 2018.

As such, the MFSA reminded the public that due diligence is important.

The authority had issued a similar warning in March, but this time it was not just another crypto exchange, but the world’s largest crypto venue by trading volume, Binance.

Due to the commotion that MFSA’s statement caused in the crypto community, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has come out to assure its users that all claims about being based in Malta or opening offices there were completely untrue, which implicitly means that the regulator’s warning makes no sense.

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