The regulator of Luxembourg’s financial markets, the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF), has warned that a firm claiming to be authorized under the name OTC Markets or Brokerhouse OTC is in fact not licensed to carry out business from within its jurisdiction.
According to the public advisory dated November 16, the CSSF warns about this online trading business, which operates under the website www.otc-markets.eu and claims to be supervised by the CSSF in Luxembourg.
The announcement also reveals that the aforementioned entity has published false data about its alleged headquarters at 121 avenue de la Faïencerie, L-1511 Luxembourg. The regulator further states that OTC Markets has not been granted the required authorization to offer banking and financial services in or from Luxembourg and is therefore not supervised by the CSSF.
This is not the first time that the CSSF has encountered websites falsely claiming to have something to do with Luxembourg. The local authorities pride themselves on the status of the country as a banking safe haven, and any company which declares itself as being registered or licensed by the CSSF is sure to be on the radar very quickly.
CSSF Warns about Fake BitPay Clone
Earlier this year, the CSSF sounded the alarm on a fraudulent clone website that was impersonating crypto payments provider, BitPay.
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BitPay is a payment processor for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and, most recently, Ethereum (ETH). The company specializes in setting up merchant accounts to accept cryptocurrency payments.
There are no specific cryptocurrency regulations in Luxembourg, but the country adopts European restrictions around similar products. The rules come within the implementation of the Fifth Money Laundering Directive (AMD 5), which provides a broad definition of crypto assets and qualifying it as ‘financial instruments’. Such a broad definition of financial instruments goes beyond cryptocurrencies to cover many related-assets, including security tokens.
Under AMLD5, crypto exchanges and custodian wallet providers will be brought within the scope of EU anti-money laundering rules for the first time. The law imposes registration and customer due to diligence requirements that force operators to disclose their traders’ identities and report suspicious activity.